Home Agency work Lauri Markkanen heads to Cleveland in 3-team trade

Lauri Markkanen heads to Cleveland in 3-team trade


Lauri Markkanen is reportedly on her way to Cleveland after four seasons with the Bulls in a three-team deal.

Lauri Markkanen was looking for a new team. The Cavaliers needed to add another outside shooter.

They have found each other.

The Cavaliers have agreed to acquire Markkanen, a restricted free agent from Chicago in a three-way trade that will send Cleveland forward Larry Nance Jr. to Portland. Bulls get Trail Blazers swingman Derrick Jones Jr. with a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick.

Markkanen is coming to the Cavs on a signing-and-trade deal, the team announced on Saturday.

ESPN first reported the three-way swap.

The Bulls acquired Markkanen in the 2017 NBA Draft, when he was drafted No.7 by the Timberwolves, as part of the deal that sent Jimmy Butler to Minnesota and Zach LaVine to Chicago. Markkanen often looked on the verge of becoming a ‘stretch-4’, but was limited by injury – with a maximum of 68 games played in his rookie season – and peaked in his second campaign, when the 7-footer had averaging 18.7 points and 9.0 rebounds in 52 games.

The 7-footer Markkanen averaged 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 51 games for the Bulls last season, his fourth with the club. A 40% 3-point shooter last season, he failed to stay with Chicago, and Cleveland jumped at the chance to get him.

Markkanen will join a young Cleveland core that includes guards Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, forward Evan Mobley, third pick in this year’s draft, forward Isaac Okoro and center Jarrett Allen.

The price of the Markkanen was high. The Cavs had to part ways with the popular Nance, who grew up in the area and whose father, Larry Sr., was an All-Star forward and whose jersey was retired by Cleveland.

Nance joined the Cavs in the 2017-18 season from the Lakers. An all-around player, Nance, 28, will be a nice complementary piece for the Blazers. He will also have the chance to play with his compatriot from northeastern Ohio and friend CJ McCollum.

Drafted by the Lakers in 2015, Nance eventually found a home – like his father did – in Cleveland, becoming a solid “3-and-D” forward. The tall 6-foot-7 is a advanced stats honey who has continued to improve his game in the margins. Last season, Nance averaged 9.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 1.7 steals in 31.2 minutes last season, setting a career-high 36.0 percent on a career high of 3.3 long-distance attempts.

Watch Derrick Jones Jr. and Aaron Gordon go head-to-head in the 2020 AT&T Slam Dunk, an instant classic.

Jones Jr., a top-flight thief who won the 2020 AT&T Slam Dunk in a hotly contested battle with Aaron Gordon, had signed with the Blazers before last season, struggling to work in his top-flight game; the 6-foot-7 wing spent the year moving in and out of line-up and occasionally rotating. An undrafted free agent after a season at UNLV, Jones hooked up with the Suns in September 2016 and developed his game while working extensively with the team’s G League affiliate. Relinquished by the Suns in December 2017, Jones was drafted by the Heat on a two-way contract and quickly found a role providing offensive stunts and active hands on D.

Information from the Associated Press was included in this report.

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