Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Lauri Markkanen via a sign-and-trade with the Chicago Bulls this past offseason. The Cavs’ head coach J.B. Bickerstaff revealed he expects the Finnish big to expand his role in Cleveland.
(via Chris Fedor of cleveland.com):
“That’s who he is,” Cavs coach J.B. Bickerstaff said on Markkanen. “I think what we’re going to see, and he’ll be able to show, is that he’s more than just a spot shooter.
He can catch and shoot off the move, but he also has an offensive game where you can give him the ball in isolation situations, and he can go get you a bucket there too.”
After a great start in his NBA career, the former 7th overall pick of the 2017 Draft lost his way due to the Bulls’ changes in the coaching staff, while he experienced several injuries that derailed his trajectory.
Despite having a down year in 2020-21, Markkanen still shot the three-ball at an impressive 40% clip. Markkanen is the only big in the Cavs’ frontcourt (apart from Kevin Love) that can hit the three efficiently.
Love is expected to have a lesser role for Cleveland this year, with Markkanen having the chance to put his career back on track. That’s the reason the Cavs put $67 million worth of trust in Markkanen in the offseason.