Keith Smith: Lauri Markkanen’s new contract with the Cavaliers includes some non-guaranteed money in the final season: 21-22: $15,690,909 22-23: $16,475,454 23-24: $17,259,999 24-25: $18,044,544 Final season is guaranteed for $6M with a pre-free agency full guarantee date. @spotrac
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Lauri Markkanen has some exciting words if you’re a Cleveland Cavaliers fan. “I don’t think I’ve hit close to my ceiling yet,” Markkanen said in a phone interview with NBC Sports Chicago shortly after the Bulls announced the sign-and-trade that netted them Derrick Jones Jr. and two drafts picks and sent Larry Nance Jr. to the Portland Trail Blazers.
“The last couple years have been mentally pretty tough,” Markkanen said. “I’ve grown as a person because of that so I wouldn’t change it. I’ve learned a lot. But I just felt like I need to get back to the old me and how I know I can play the game. I think this is a good opportunity for me to do that. I’m happy. I’m really excited and looking forward. We kind of felt like I needed a fresh start. And I appreciate all the people who were involved to help facilitate it and make it happen.”
“I think I fit in well — young core, exciting point guards. I’m looking forward to playing with those big guys in the frontcourt. They’re all young, talented guys. I think we can grow together,” Markkanen said. “And I can’t wait to learn from a player like Kevin Love. Just learn aspects of the game from him and the mentality of the game, how he approaches it. I’m looking forward to that as well.”
The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired forward Lauri Markkanen (LAU-ree MARK-a-nin) in a sign and trade agreement from Chicago, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts. In a three-team deal, Cleveland traded forward Larry Nance Jr. to Portland and a protected 2023 second round pick (via Denver) to Chicago. The Bulls also received forward Derrick Jones Jr. from Portland and the Trail Blazers’ lottery protected 2022 first round pick as part of the trade.
“We are extremely fortunate as an organization to be in a position to acquire another young and talented player with the skill-set of Lauri Markkanen,” said Altman. “He has the proven ability to play multiple positions and stretch the floor from the perimeter and, at 24-years-old, we believe his best basketball is in front of him. We are committed to establishing a winning culture in Cleveland that can be sustained over time and Lauri helps elevate that description.”
Lauri Markkanen’s arrival in Cleveland could have ripples that reach all the way to Brooklyn. The Nets have had interest in Isaiah Hartenstein and Kevin Love, and both just became even more surplus to the Cavaliers than they already were. The Nets are currently eyeing Hartenstein, sources told The Post.
Heading for restricted free agency this current offseason, it only seemed a matter of time before he would be elsewhere, but the market cooled on Markkanen. A source indicated that many teams were concerned with his passion for the game on a nightly basis, and were turned off by the idea of meeting his contract demands of close to $20 million per season.
Dallas could offer Markkanen, say, a three-year deal worth $44 million and send back about $10 million in offsetting salary in a direct trade not involving its TPE. I’ve heard Chicago has interest in Kleber; it’s a riskier deal for Dallas giving up both a rotational player and signing Markkanen to a higher salary point. It might be a worthwhile gamble, although you would have to really talk me into it. Kleber has been the better player in past seasons — or, at least, the more useful one for a team with postseason aspirations.
I’m hurting my brain with all the various considerations him, his agent Boris Lelchitski, the still-interested teams and Chicago’s own front office must each be calculating right now. I would also put the odds at Markkanen ending up in Dallas at 30 or 40 percent.
“I can tell you the Wolves have kicked the tires on Paul Millsap, on Josh Hart, on Dennis Schroeder, on Lauri Markkanen,” Darren Wolfson said on his podcast.
Darren Wolfson: I can tell you the Wolves have kicked the tires on Paul Millsap, on Josh Hart, on Dennis Schroeder, on Lauri Markkanen. But until the Wolves create more cap space, especially in the case of Lauri Markkanen… like there’s not really a logical pathway to acquiring him.
Marc Stein: The Pelicans have expressed interest in Lauri Markkanen and hold a sizable trade exception ($17 million) to take the restricted free agent in on a contract he seeks, sources say. The Bulls, though, are said to want a first-round pick to facilitate. More: marcstein.substack.com
Marc Stein: Markkanen says he does not want to return to Chicago but has yet to manufacture a better option than one last season as a Bull to gain unrestricted free agency. The Bulls and Pels also still haven’t completed their Lonzo Ball sign-and-trade which is now under NBA investigation.
Jordan Schultz: #Hornets have emerged as a sleeper team interested in #Bulls forward Lauri Markkanen, per sources. Charlotte likes the idea of pairing the versatile Markkanen (40% 3s) w/LaMelo in its two-man game. The 24-year-old Finnish product averaged 17/6 in 26 starts last season.
During a recent episode of “The Mismatch” podcast, The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor mentioned the Dallas Mavericks as a ‘team to watch’ for Lauri Markkanen. “One other team to watch for (Lauri) Markkanen is the Dallas Mavericks. I’ve heard they also have interest, so there’s some sign-&-trade possibilities involving him with Charlotte & Dallas.”
Lauri Markkanen wants to leave Chicago Bulls, reveals to Yle that he has received offers from several clubs. “I want a new start to my NBA career”. Markkanen, who has represented the Chicago Bulls for four seasons, revealed to Yle Sport on Friday that he hopes his career will continue somewhere other than the Chicago club.
Shams Charania: The Charlotte Hornets have emerged with strong interest in a potential offer sheet for Chicago restricted free agent Lauri Markkanen, sources tell @TheAthletic @Stadium . RFAs can begin signing sheets Friday.
Kristian Winfield: Lauri Markkanen and Kelly Oubre Jr asked for too much money in free agency without the resume to back it up, a league source just told me. The market has cooled significantly on both with most teams out of money. Mavs ($15M) & Hornets ($14.5M) among teams w cap space.
The San Antonio Spurs had interest in signing Lauri Markkanen in free agency, but his asking price exceeded what they were willing to pay, according to Brian Windhorst on The Hoop Collective. San Antonio, however, signed Zach Collins to a three-year, $22 million deal despite his multiple ankle surgeries. The number San Antonio gave Collins offers some insight into what Markkanen is seeking well beyond that.
Ben Johnson: @DWolfsonKSTP Is Markkanen still being targeted by the Wolves via sign & trade? Any talk of Thad Young via trade? Darren Wolfson: They’ve been in contact on Lauri M. #Timberwolves
Minnesota is surely one possibility for Markkanen, and for any other ambulatory power forward. The T’Wolves have little room below the luxury tax line and will be looking at trades and sign-and-trades with some of their less desirable contracts and a future pick.
The Chicago Bulls and forward Lauri Markkanen are open to a sign-and-trade deal, league sources told HoopsHype. One team to keep an eye on in the sign-and-trade market for Markkanen is the Minnesota Timberwolves, who’ve been searching for an upgrade at the power forward position.
Shams Charania: Sources: The Bulls have extended the qualifying offer to Lauri Markkanen, making him a restricted free agent. Markkanen is expected to have several suitors on the market.
Who is a name the Wolves could be interested in that might surprise some people? — @Ordinary_Jeff Jon Krawczynski: Hmmmm … How about Lauri Markkanen?
The Bulls have until Aug. 1 to extend a one-year qualifying offer to Markkanen and Javonte Green. Markkanen averaged a minimum of 34.25 starts over the past two seasons and has reached starter criteria, earning him a $9.0 million offer. Green was acquired at the trade deadline and appeared in only six games, averaging 5.5 minutes. His one-year contract is for $1.9 million. The qualifying offer will tag each player with the restricted free-agent status, allowing the Bulls to match an offer sheet.
Gozlan: They’ve got $50 million in cap space, so they can bring back DeRozan. Let’s say they bring him back at $25 million. Then you’ve got another $25 million to spend. I don’t know if you want to tie that up in Rudy Gay and Patty Mills. They definitely need some frontcourt help and more upside. They’ve been linked to Lauri Markkanen. That would be the type of move I’d try to pursue if I were them. Maybe even John Collins.
So where might Markkanen end up? The one place he privately wants to land is with the Mavericks, joining guard Luka Doncic and big man Kristaps Porzingis. The Mavericks will have serious cap room this offseason and were in the middle of the pack in three-point shooting, but Markkanen and Porzingis might be too similar in terms of their skills for that to happen.
So which other team might be interested in Markkanen? Keep an eye on the Knicks, who will have the most cap room of any team and can use more shooting.
In a phone interview with NBC Sports Chicago following an up-and-down season that featured him moving from focal point to reserve, the mild-mannered forward made clear his approach to his restricted free agency this offseason. “My thing is I think I’ve always been a team-first guy. And I think now it’s time to look at the business side of the game,” Markkanen said. “I feel like I’m only 23 years old and I have a lot of basketball ahead of me. It’s a good opportunity to look what’s out there for me. I can be a focal point. I think I have a lot more to offer.”
If a big-money offer comes his way, are the Bulls going to commit millions to a player that Donovan viewed a poor enough pairing alongside a centerpiece like Vučević that he brought him off the bench? Markkanen said such details didn’t come up in his exit meeting. “We talked about stuff I can do better and some stuff I did well this year. Obviously, we talked about what to work on. But we didn’t talk about the business side that much,” Markkanen said. “Wherever it is going to be, I’m committed to the team. You know that about me. I’m excited to see what’s out there for me.”
Lauri Markkanen: “I don’t have any regrets turning (the extension) down. I think I did the right decision. I have a lot of basketball ahead of me. I can do a lot of different stuff on the court. I’m confident in my abilities.”
Joe Cowley: Arturas thought Lauri had a good year and was looking forward to keeping him. Let’s see what the market says.
The Bulls will have the final say in Markkanen’s future this offseason. Whether they figure out a sign-and-trade or decide to match any offer he gets as a restricted free agent, it will be in their hands. Markkanen said last week his intention will be to sign with a team that will give him a chance to start again. It doesn’t sound as though that opportunity will be there with the Bulls.
Since the trade deadline, Markkanen has gone from starting at power forward and getting some minutes at center to coming off the bench at small forward, a position he hasn’t fully embraced and really doesn’t have the defensive ability to play. So while the Bulls haven’t completely shoved Markkanen out the door, he has endured a series of demotions because of other players they consider to be more in their plans.
KC Johnson: Lauri Markkanen: “I still believe I’m a starter in this league.” Said he isn’t focused at all on RFA status or whether these might be his final games in Bulls uniform, only on trying to help Bulls make play-in.
Joe Cowley: Lauri Markkanen can still be a sign-and-trade deal this summer, and has two months to make a statement.
Bobby Marks: Chicago forward Lauri Markkanen has reached the starter criteria in his contract. The Qualifying Offer for the soon to be restricted free agent is now $9M. If Markkanen did not average 34.25 starts over the 2019/20 and 2020/21 season, the QO would have been $7M.
Not only will New York (10-13) be very cap friendly after this season, but Thibodeau has always been a big fan of Markkanen’s game. Enough so that he admitted shortly after the ’17 draft that if that trade for Butler wouldn’t have gone through, Minnesota – where Thibodeau was the coach/vice president of basketball operations at the time – was going to draft Markkanen anyway.
Markkanen is averaging a career-high 20.5 points, riding into Wednesday’s rematch against New York carrying consecutive 30-point nights. In his past eight appearances since rejoining the lineup after missing seven straight games while in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Markkanen has averaged 22.1 points and 6.1 rebounds with a 52.4/39.1/90.9 shooting split. In many ways, the fourth-year Finnish forward is playing the best ball of his career. “He’s going out there proving what he’s worth,” Bulls guard Zach LaVine said.
Michael Scotto: Source: The Chicago Bulls and Lauri Markkanen won’t agree to an extension. He’s eligible for a $9 million qualifying offer. He’ll be one of the top restricted free agents on the market. More on his future in my story over the weekend on @HoopsHype. hoopshype.com/lists/nba-exte…
This is a tough one to predict. I wouldn’t say Markkanen’s value is at an all-time low because he’s still valued around the league, albeit with reservations. But, yes, coming off a season where his production dropped, his injury history continued and his usage mystified, this will be a tough negotiation. If you’re the Bulls, you obviously try to negotiate from a hard-line stance to keep the books as clean as possible without alienating his camp. Luckily, Karnisovas and Markkanen’s agent have a strong relationship, but that doesn’t guarantee anything except cordiality during negotiations. And Markkanen remains under the Bulls’ rights as a restricted free agent in 2021 if no extension is reached, albeit one with roughly a $20 million cap hold.
I think given that the new regime likely is viewing 2020-21 as a see-what-we’ve-got season, it’s more likely than not that no extension is reached. Then, you negotiate again in 2021 depending on how Markkanen fared. This strategy cost the Bulls a lot of money in the Jimmy Butler scenario. But it’s a good problem to have if a player with current question marks blossoms into a star — like Butler did and like Karnisovas hopes Markkanen can. With a new leader in the front office, what changes do
The Chicago Bulls have exercised the third-year option on Lauri Markkanen, and fourth-year options on guards Kris Dunn and Denzel Valentine. By exercising their options, all players will be under contract with the Bulls for the 2019-20 season. Markkanen came to the Bulls in a Draft-night trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves on June 22, 2017, in which his rights were acquired, along with Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine, in exchange for Jimmy Butler and the rights to the 16th selection in the 2017 NBA Draft. Markkanen was selected to the All-Rookie First Team last season after playing in 68 games (68 starts) and averaging 15.2 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 29.7 minutes per game.
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September 22, 2021 | 7:42 pm EDT Update
Marc Stein: Tamika Tremaglio of @DeloitteUS has now been officially selected as @TheNBPA ‘s new executive director to succeed Michele Roberts, according to a leading television network. Roberts told @VinceGoodwill in July she was leaving the post within six months after her eight-year run.
Marc Stein: The union makes it official and announces Tamika L. Tremaglio, “trusted advisor and consultant” to @TheNBPA since 2012, as its next Executive Director. Tremaglio will succeed Michele Roberts “upon her retirement at the end of the year.”