Lauri Markkanen’s emergence as an All-Star and top-tier player in the NBA was one of the league’s best stories last year.
So far this season, Markkanen hasn’t quite been able to replicate his 2022 magic, but he is still averaging 23.7 points per game on 48.4 percent shooting from the field and 38.3 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
In addition, Markkanen chips in 8.7 rebounds and 1.1 steals per game.
The Jazz are currently 6-13 on the year an headed nowhere fast in 2023. They are in the midst of a rebuild and don’t really have any use for a guy like Markkanen. Because of that, in recent days, trade speculation surrounding the 26-year-old has picked up.
At the moment, two frontrunners seem to exist for Markkanen’s services.
The first is the Los Angeles Lakers:
Lauri would be a perfect fit as second big for Lakers. Not sure Utah would bite but I would offer the unprotected 2029 and 2027 if picks 1-4 plus Vincent, Prince, and Christie for a 12/15 trade. Doubt Utah would bite but I’d love to try and get Lauri or even Olynyk from them. https://t.co/2IJubj2KbC pic.twitter.com/BDg1WFzOO5
— LakerTom (@LakerTom) November 19, 2023
The Jazz are 4-8
He’s shooting 42% from 3
He’s the archetype that Lebron turns into NBA champion
He has 1 non-gtd yr left on an 18M contract
— 🏆LakersGuru🏆 (@GuruLakers) November 18, 2023
The question here, obviously, is whether L.A. can string enough tradeable assets together to actually haul in a player of Markkanen’s magnitude.
If not the Lakers, as noted by Sports Illustrated, Markkanen would also make a ton of sense for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
“Markkanen is set for a new contract in the near future and at this point looks like a max player,” the report said.
“If the Jazz feel like they’re better positioned long-term to cash out on the 7-footer who has revitalized his career, now would be the time. Oklahoma City has the assets to do nearly anything as it relates to trades, having the young talent and draft picks to acquire a guy like Markkanen.”
Obviously the Thunder are dealing with a huge problem involving one of their young core pieces. That said, the team does still need to move forward – and adding Markkanen could really elevate them in the Western Conference.
Shohei Ohtani’s Girlfriend Trends Amid Dodgers, Cubs Rumors: https://t.co/WyUzWclUWa
— Game 7 (@game7__) December 1, 2023
Obviously the 2023-24 NBA season just kicked off.
There is plenty of time for the circumstances surrounding all parties involved to change.
That said, the Jazz trading Markkanen makes a ton of sense. Where will he ultimately be playing when it’s all said and done? Time will tell.
A graduate from the University of Texas, Anthony Amador has been credentialed to cover the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, San Antonio Spurs, Dallas Mavericks and high school games all over the Lone Star State. Currently, his primary beats are the NBA, MLB, NFL and UFC.