New challenge for Markkanen

24-year-old Finnish winger (or pivot) Lauri Markkanen signed with the Cleveland Cavaliers, from the Chicago Bulls, who drafted him in seventh place in 2017.

After four seasons in Chicago, Lauri Markkanen left the shores of Lake Michigan to join that of Lake Erie, in Cleveland. The 24-year-old Finnish international winger (or pivot) has signed up for the next four seasons and a salary of $ 67 million with the Cavaliers, as part of a three-team transfer. The No. 7 in the 2017 draft wanted to leave the Bulls, who notably recruited Lonzo Ball and DeMar DeRozan this summer, joining Nikola Vucevic and Zach LaVine, and signs in a team that seems less strong on paper, despite the arrival by Ricky Rubio just before the Olympics. Author of an excellent 2018-19 season (18.7pts and 9rbds average), Lauri Markkanen has clearly fallen by one level over the past two years. Last season, he finished with 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 51 games with the Bulls, where he started only half the time, and who finished eleventh in the Eastern Conference.

Nance Jr in Portland, Jones Jr in Chicago

As part of the three-franchise trade, Cleveland is sending Larry Nance Jr to Portland and a second round of the 2023 draft to Chicago. For its part, Portland sends Derrick Jones Jr and a first round of the 2022 draft in Chicago. Aged 28, Larry Nance Jr will know his third team. Drafted by the Lakers in 2015 in 27th position, the strong winger (or pivot) had joined Cleveland and his native state of Ohio in 2018 for four years, but therefore left the Cavs (9.3pts on average last season) before the scheduled date to return to the Western Conference. As for Derrick Jones Jr, a 24-year-old winger, he had a more eventful journey. Not drafted in 2016, he was still recruited by Phoenix, where he had traveled back and forth between the NBA and the Development League, then joined Miami in 2017 and Portland in 2020 for a two-year contract. He averaged 6.8 points last season.

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