The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired restricted free agent power forward Lauri Markkanen from the Chicago Bulls in a sign-and-trade deal, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. The trade is part of a three-team deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Bulls receive Derrick Jones Jr., Cleveland’s 2023 second-round pick via the Denver Nuggets, and Portland’s 2022 lottery-protected first-round pick. The Trail Blazers receive Larry Nance Jr. in the deal.
Markkanen adds shooting to the frontcourt for the Cavaliers, who now have four big men in Markkanen, Kevin Love Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen. It’ll be interesting to see how Cleveland balances the rotation out, especially with Love and Markkanen having similar skillsets.
The writing was on the wall for Markkanen’s exit from the Bulls late in the season. He lost his starting role with the addition of Nikola Vucevic and his weak defensive showing. The Bulls made several splashes in free agency, but opted not to match what appears to be a reasonable price for the forward at $67 million over four years.
The Cavaliers have an over/under of 26.5 wins this season according to DraftKings Sportsbook. They are not expected to be factors in the postseason, with odds of -8000 to miss the postseason.