No. 3: Lauri Markkanen
One of the latest additions to ‘Tower City’ is former Bulls lottery pick Lauri Markkanen, who arrived with a fresh four-year, $67 million contract in a bittersweet sign-and-trade deal wherein the Cavs sent away homegrown son and fan-favorite Larry Nance Jr.
Despite being a downgrade from Nance defensively, the 24-year-old Finnish forward brings a lot to the table on the offensive end, last averaging 13.6 points per game while shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc, providing a much-needed boost for a team wallowing at the very bottom of the NBA in three-point shots made last season.
After losing significant minutes alongside his starting role in Chicago last season, Markkanen can rehabilitate his game with a fresh start in Cleveland, and he has been vocal about his excitement to begin the new chapter of his career.
The former lottery pick still has the potential to become a high ceiling player, even in a backup role to presumptive starters Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. After a pretty lackluster year with the Bulls, is a pleasant surprise that he still ranked 82nd in ESPN’s recent NBArank for the top 100 players.
With a fresh start (and perhaps if veteran Cavs forward Kevin Love ever becomes engaged enough to mentor him), Lauri Markkanen could very well find himself redirected back on the path to realize his true potential.