Forward Lauri Markkanen reflected on the day he was traded from the Cavaliers to the Jazz this offseason, indicating it was a bit of a surprise.
“It was 10:30 at night, and I was with the Finnish national team. We were playing the next morning against Israel in the first game of EuroBasket,” Markkanen told Mark Medina of NBA.com. “We were just playing video games and saw the news that Cleveland got Donovan Mitchell. We were excited. But I joked, ‘We’ll see who is a part of the deal.’ But the initial report didn’t have any names on who was traded. I wondered if I was a part of it. Then, 20 seconds later, [Cavs general manager Koby Altman] called me. Then, I put it together.”
Markkanen added their are some similarities between last year’s Cavs and this season’s Jazz.
“Physically, I’m in the best shape of my life. So, I had high expectations from the beginning,” he told Medina. “We have a lot of good players on this team. So, I had high expectations with the team even coming into the year, especially after training camp started. We have a good team. We just have to stay on the same page and build off our chemistry.
“We have a lot of new guys. But that was the same thing last season when I was in Cleveland. Everyone was doubting you at the beginning of the year. Then we started out well. Having that experience and then going into training camp, I knew we had a good team. We just have to keep going and keep getting better with knowing each other and staying on the same page.”
For the record, Caruso landed a four-year deal for $36.9 million from the Bulls as a free agent — or about $9.25 million annually.
As Rude noted, the “double digit” part likely means Reaves is seeking a deal for at least $10 million annually.
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