The Portland Trail Blazers secured the services of Larry Nance Jr. following a three-team trade involving the Cleveland Cavaliers and Chicago Bulls in which Portland sent Derrick Jones Jr. to the Bulls along with a first-round pick and a second-round pick acquired from Cleveland, while the Bulls’ Lauri Markkanen, a restricted free agent, ended up landing with the Cavaliers. According to K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago, the three-team trade came to be because the Blazers had their eye on Markkanen, but they couldn’t make the deal work.
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.
Markkanen’s deal with the Cavaliers is for four years and $67 million, and the Bulls received two draft picks that give them future flexibility.
While the Blazers may have missed out on Markkanen, the acquisition of Nance Jr. got excellent reviews.