Arguably the top remaining free agent in the NBA is about to come off the board. According to ESPN insider Adrian Wojnarowski, power forward Lauri Markkanen is on his way to Cleveland.
Markkanen is being sent to the Cavaliers in a three-team sign-and-trade. Wojnarowski provided all the details on this marquee move.
The Cavaliers are acquiring Markkanen, the Bulls are receiving Derrick Jones Jr., a first-round pick from the Trail Blazers and a second-round pick from the Cavaliers in return for Markkanen, and the Trail Blazers are getting Larry Nance Jr.
As for the terms of Markkanen’s deal with the Cavaliers, he’s expected to make $67 million over the next four years. It’s a significant deal for the Arizona product.
ESPN Sources: Cleveland’s acquiring Chicago’s Lauri Markkanen in three-way sign and trade with Portland. Bulls get Derrick Jones Jr., POR’s lottery protected future 1st and Cavs’ future second-rounder. POR gets Larry Nance Jr. https://t.co/CgN3mhaLHY
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 27, 2021
Markkanen’s role with the Bulls steadily declined over the past two years. And yet, he still averaged 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game this past season.
Cleveland already has a plethora of talented big men on its roster, such as Jarrett Allen, Kevin Love and Evan Mobley, so it’s tough to say how Markkanen’s skillset will mesh with the rest of the team. On the flip side, the Cavaliers aren’t in a position where they can turn down a chance to trade for a player like Markkanen.
When it comes to Chicago, the front office was probably content with acquiring a few draft picks for a player who was on his way out anyway.
The Trail Blazers, meanwhile, should give Nance the same role that was previously occupied by Zach Collins.
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