The Cleveland Cavaliers are a team stuck in no man’s land trying to get out of that dreaded reality.
But the team has stunk without LeBron James in town and is not projected to do much this season either.
One knock against the team is not exactly adapting to the modern NBA game.
Signing Allen to a $100 million deal and drafting Mobley, another seven-footer, with Kevin Love still on the roster didn’t address the desperate need for a great shooter.
Thus, the Cavaliers decided to add another seven-footer in a surprising trade.
ESPN Sources: Cleveland’s acquiring Chicago’s Lauri Markkanen in three-way sign and trade with Portland. Bulls get Derrick Jones Jr., POR’s lottery protected future 1st and Cavs’ future second-rounder. POR gets Larry Nance Jr. https://t.co/CgN3mhaLHY
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) August 27, 2021
A Curious Decision
Markkanen was the No. 7 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft and shot over 40 percent from three-point range last season.
But will he even start on this Cavaliers team?
Lauri Markkanen's four-year deal worth $67.4 million is only guaranteed for $6 of the $18 million in the final year, sources tell @clevelanddotcom
— Chris Fedor (@ChrisFedor) August 27, 2021
The team needs wings and added another seven-footer who could be a liability on defense if the team has him out there with Allen and Mobley.
Not to mention the fact both Sexton and Garland barely stand over six-feet tall as the guards on the floor.
Okoro could one day be that wing player, but he is still very early in his development.
Markkanen now shows up on a team without direction where plenty of change will be taking place.
A Likely Scenario
This trade has to mean Kevin Love is getting a buyout, right?
Keeping him and having this roster full of seven-footers who would all be in the rotation would be mind-blowing.
Not to mention the fact Love is nowhere near the player he once was.
An ideal scenario would have been buying out Love, keeping Nance, and even still landing Markkanen.
Alas, the team lost a great bench player only to keep someone who doesn’t want to be in Cleveland.
The reality of the situation is this team is in the midst of a long, frustrating rebuild.
Young talent is being added, regardless of position.
That explains bringing on Markkanen and just hoping things work out for the best.
Yet at some point the team has to stop picking in the lottery because they just won’t have enough spots or money for all the first-round picks.
Can Markkanen help turn things around?
That sure would be a miracle in Cleveland.NEXT: Zero Chance Cavaliers Can Trade Kevin Love This Year