Friday's NBA: Cavs acquire Lauri Markkanen from Bulls in three-way trade
Cleveland — Lauri Markkanen was in search of a new team. The Cavaliers needed to add another outside shooter.
They found each other.
The Cavaliers have agreed to acquire Markkanen, a restricted free agent forward from Chicago, in a three-way trade that will send forward Larry Nance Jr. from Cleveland to Portland, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Friday.
Markkanen is coming to the Cavs in a sign-and-trade agreement, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal needs NBA approval before it can be completed. It could be a few more days before the trade becomes official.
The 24-year-old Markkanen will receive a four-year, $67.4 million contract, the person said.
ESPN first reported the three-way swap.
The Bulls are getting swingman Derrick Jones Jr. from the Trail Blazers along with a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick.
The 7-foot Markkanen averaged 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 51 games for the Bulls last season, his fourth with the club. A 40% shooter on 3-pointers last season, he had been unable to work out staying with Chicago, and Cleveland jumped at the chance to get him.
Markkanen will join a young Cleveland nucleus that includes guards Darius Garland and Collin Sexton, forward Evan Mobley, the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft, forward Isaac Okoro and center Jarrett Allen.
The price for Markkanen was high. The Cavs had to part with 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, coming over in a trade from the Lakers. A skilled all-around player, the 28-year-old Nance will be a nice complementary piece for the Blazers. He’ll also get a chance to play with fellow northeast Ohioan and friend CJ McCollum.
Jones, the 2020 All-Star slam dunk champion, is another new piece as the Bulls try to turn things around.
Chicago has been busy this summer since going 31-41 and finishing 11th in the Eastern Conference last season. The Bulls added high-scoring forward DeMar DeRozan and point guard Lonzo Ball in separate sign-and-trade deals.
With Olympian Zach LaVine and two-time All-Star center Nikola Vucevic returning, the Bulls believe they’re poised to end their streak of four straight seasons without a playoff appearance.
All NBA team personnel who will be near players and referees must be fully vaccinated against the coronavirus this season, the league told its clubs in a memo.
It essentially covers anyone who will travel with teams, be around the bench areas, have access to home, visiting and referee locker rooms and those working at the scorer’s table. The league also said in the memo, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press, that the policy may be updated when federal agencies release “expected guidance related to booster shots.”
Team personnel will need to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 1; game-day personnel by the time of a team’s first home preseason game, which means early October.
Among the groups of personnel required to have vaccinations: coaches, medical and performance staff, equipment staff, front office members, team and arena security, media relations, social media producers, facility operations workers and more.
The NBA said exemptions will be made in the cases of unionized workers who cannot be forced to be vaccinated, and for those with religious or documented medical reasons.
Those not fully vaccinated, the NBA said, “will be prohibited from having in-person interaction with, or being within 15 feet of, any player or referee.” They would also not be permitted to travel with teams and would have to wear face masks at all times inside team facilities.
Training camps for all 30 NBA clubs begin in late September, with preseason games in early October and the start of regular-season play Oct. 19.