A three-team deal between the Portland Trail Blazers, Chicago Bulls, and Cleveland Cavaliers recently went down.

In case you missed it, Lauri Markkanen landed with the Cavs, the Bulls got Derrick Jones Jr. and a 2022 first-round pick, and the Blazers received Larry Nance Jr. and a 2021 2nd-round pick.

Well, that wasn’t the initial deal. It was supposed to be just a two-team deal between the Bulls and the Blazers, which would have sent Markkanen to Rip City. However, a third team was needed to shore up the contracts, so the Cavs came in and swooped in to grab the 24-year-old Finnish scorer.

Get this, the Blazers could have gotten a much better scorer in Markkanen instead of a role player in Nance Jr.

Still, the revised agreement still worked out for the better for the Blazers and its fans.

Markkanen fans would probably find this statement quite blasphemous. After all, he’s younger and has proven to have more upside than Nance.

In his final season in Chicago, Markkanen notched 13.6 points on 48% shooting from the field and 40.2% from deep, along with 5.3 rebounds. Nance, on the other hand, didn’t shoot as well but racked up better overall numbers of 9.3 points, 6.7 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.7 steals.

Obviously, the main plan for Portland is to stack the team with talent in a bid to convince Damian Lillard to stay. While Markkanen may indeed be the better player, no doubt Nance fits Portland’s MO more.

He brings hustle and energy at that power forward position and has even improved his range over the years. More importantly, he is an amazing defender, something that Markkanen has struggled with so far in his career.

It may not look like it at first glance, but no doubt the Blazers are better off with Nance in tow.


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