Portland will receive Larry Nance Jr. in the deal, according to Wojnarowski, and will send Derrick Jones Jr. and a 2022 protected first-round pick to Chicago. The Blazers will also get a Nuggets 2023 second-rounder from Cleveland.
The trade ends a long wait for Markkanen, who had been looking for a new team since free agency began on August 2. He will receive a four-year, $67MM contract from the Cavs, Wojnarowski reports (Twitter link), and the Bulls get the first-round pick they were seeking in return for the 24-year-old restricted free agent. That pick from Portland will be lottery protected through 2028, Woj adds (via Twitter), and will become a second-round selection if it’s not conveyed before then.
Markkanen’s four-year contract is valued at $18MM in the final season, but only carries a $6MM guarantee, sources tell Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (Twitter link).
The deal leaves the Cavs $4.7MM under the luxury tax with 14 players under contract, tweets Bobby Marks of ESPN. The Blazers are $1.3MM above the tax threshold with 13 players signed and will likely be $3MM over once they add a league-mandated 14th player. The Bulls are $6.4MM under the tax and $11.8MM below the hard cap with 13 guaranteed contracts, Marks adds (Twitter link).
Markkanen’s outgoing salary only counts as $7.79MM, rather than the full amount, due to base year compensation rules, Marks notes (via Twitter). Chicago had hoped to get a player in the $9-10MM range, which it did by acquiring Jones. Markkenen’s incoming salary from the Cavs’ perspective will be the full amount of $15.58MM.
Markkanen fell out of Chicago’s starting lineup last season for the first time in his four years in the NBA and played a career-low 25.8 minutes per night. His averages of 13.6 points, 5.3 rebounds and 0.9 assists per game were all the worst of his career.
He had been hoping for a “fresh start” and will get it in Cleveland, where he will likely be the new starting power forward. The trade allows the Cavs to solidify a position of need and gives rookie big man Evan Mobley more time to develop.
Nance, 28, is under contract for two more year at $10.69MM and $9.67MM. He averaged 9.3 points and 6.7 rebounds per game last season and will bring a defensive presence to Portland’s front line. New coach Chauncey Billups has spoken repeatedly about the need to upgrade the team’s defense.
Jones, 24, has an expiring $9.72MM contract for the upcoming season. He averaged 6.8 points and 3.5 rebounds in 58 games last season and adds another versatile forward to Chicago’s rotation.