The Cavaliers lavished Lauri Markkanen with a four-year, $67MM contract in a sign-and-trade with the Bulls and they have big plans for him offensively, as Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer details. Markkanen won’t just be firing 3-pointers — he’ll have the ball in his hands often on post and elbow isolations and his new team wants to showcase his playmaking ability.
“He is a dynamic offensive player, and we want him to show his whole skill set,” Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said.
We have more from the Central Division:
- Pacers coach Rick Carlisle says the roster was built to enhance his desire for an improved defensive mindset, according to Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files. “Guys that we brought in on two-ways and Exhibit 10s also are tough-minded, defensive-oriented guys,” he said. “Hard play is such an important part of success in our league. I think everybody knows that, but we’ve really gone that direction with guys that we’ve brought in.”
- Coby White may have the talent to be a starting point guard in the league but it won’t happen with the Bulls, Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic opines in his latest mailbag post. The commitments to Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso greatly diminish White’s chances of remaining with the franchise long-term. Mayberry takes on a number of topics, including his skepticism regarding the franchise’s desire to retain Zach LaVine for the long haul.
- Pistons coach Dwane Casey wants to push the pace but not at the expense of high turnover numbers, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com writes. It will be a challenge, considering that young guards in Cade Cunningham and Killian Hayes will frequently be running the offense. One of the solutions is to cut down on the number of times his wings attempt one-man fast breaks.