Bulls Insider

Cavs acquire Markkanen in three-team deal

Bulls Insider

The Chicago Bulls finally ended the winding saga of Lauri Markkanen's restricted free agency by agreeing to a sign-and-trade proposal that will send the fourth-year forward to the Cavaliers, two sources confirmed.

Coming to the Bulls from the Trail Blazers is former slam dunk champion Derrick Jones Jr., along with a 2022 lottery-protected first-round pick from Portland and a 2023 second-round pick from Cleveland. Headed to the Trail Blazers is forward Larry Nance Jr.

Markkanen will sign a four-year, roughly $67 million deal and leave the Bulls, who once considered him a cornerstone franchise piece after acquiring him in the Jimmy Butler trade that plunged the franchise into a full rebuild. Markkanen averaged 15.6 points and 7.1 rebounds in 221 games, including 195 starts.

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According to two sources, the talks originally centered on Markkanen landing with the Trail Blazers in exchange for Jones Jr. and the lottery-protected first-round pick. When the Bulls sought an extra second-round pick, the talks expanded to include the Cavaliers.

The Bulls acquired two draft picks at a time that they badly need draft capital. They traded a combined three first-round picks to acquire Nikola Vucevic and DeMar DeRozan. They also could be docked draft capital should a league investigation surrounding their acquisition of Lonzo Ball produces a guilty verdict regarding tampering.

Jones, who played one season with the Trail Blazers, has averaged 6.8 points in 229 NBA games. The 6-foot-5-inch small forward is known for his athleticism and long wingspan and has potential for his defensive play. He's also on an expiring $9.7 million deal.

 

Coby White and Zach LaVine are the only remaining Bulls on the roster that Artūras Karnišovas inherited upon his April 2020 hiring.