As part of a three-team NBA trade, the Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired forward Lauri Markkanen (LAU-ree MARK-a-nin) in a sign and trade agreement from the Chicago Bulls, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
In the deal, Cleveland traded forward Larry Nance Jr. to the Portland Trail Blazers and a protected 2023 second round pick (via Denver) to Chicago. The Bulls also received forward Derrick Jones Jr. from Portland and the Trail Blazers’ lottery-protected 2022 first round pick as part of the trade.
“We are extremely fortunate as an organization to be in a position to acquire another young and talented player with the skill-set of Lauri Markkanen,” said Altman. “He has the proven ability to play multiple positions and stretch the floor from the perimeter and, at 24-years-old, we believe his best basketball is in front of him. We are committed to establishing a winning culture in Cleveland that can be sustained over time and Lauri helps elevate that description. I also want to thank Larry for his outstanding and impactful contributions to our team, both on and off the court. His selfless acts of kindness and support for small businesses in Northeast Ohio during a global pandemic says a lot about his character. He remained steadfast in his commitment to helping others in their time of need and it was an inspiration to us all. Larry truly embraced the community, its fans and his teammates and he will be missed. The Cavaliers have a tremendous amount of respect and admiration for Larry as a person and a player, and we wish him and his family all the best in Portland.”
Markkanen (7-0, 238) played in 51 games (26 starts) for the Bulls last season, averaging 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 25.8 minutes per contest. He also shot career highs in field goal percentage (.480) and three-point percentage (.402), while going .826 from the foul line. Markkanen connected on 119 three-pointers in 2020-21, his fourth consecutive season with over 100 triples. He also became just the fourth player in Bulls franchise history to shoot a perfect 7-of-7 from beyond the arc, accomplishing that feat against Philadelphia on March 11, 2021.
A native of Finland, Markkanen was originally drafted out of the University of Arizona by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Traded on draft night to Chicago, he spent his entire four-year NBA career with the Bulls, averaging 15.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 29.5 minutes over 221 games (195 starts). Markkanen was an All-NBA Rookie First Team selection in 2018 and leaves the Bulls ranked sixth all-time in franchise history in three-pointers made with 493.
“Larry is a talented and versatile player that impacts winning on both ends of the floor,” said Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey. “We welcome him and his family to Portland and look forward to his contributions on the court and in our community.”
Originally selected by the L.A. Lakers with the 27th overall pick of the 2015 NBA Draft, Nance (6-7, 245) holds career averages of 8.3 points (52.9% FG, 33.3% 3-PT, 68.75 FT), 6.7 rebounds, 1.9 assists, 1.26 steals and 24.2 minutes in 350 games (123 starts) with the Lakers and Cleveland. A native of Akron, Ohio, Nance played collegiately for four seasons at Wyoming.