Warriors potential trade target Lauri Markkanen

Warriors potential trade target Lauri Markkanen


Warriors potential trade target Lauri Markkanen

When it comes to rescuing the remainder of the NBA offseason for the Warriors, there might be only one man who can complete the job: Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen, the oft-injured All-Star whose ability to score at 7-feet and 3-point prowess make him an ideal fit for the Dubs.

Rumors have swirled on the potential for a Markkanen deal, and of all teams that could their fingers into his pie, the Warriors are said to be the most aggressive. With good reason. This is a player who averaged 23.9 points last year after winning the NBA’s Most Improved award in 2023.

He shot 48% from the field and 39.9% from the 3-point line, and has the size and youth (he turned 27 in May) the Warriors want. Alas, the Jazz are apparently playing hardball on Markkanen, who is entering the final year of a four-year, $68 million contract he signed in 2021.

Still, the betting odds around Markkanen point to him potentially getting moved to the Warriors, more than any other team. At BetArizona.com (Markkanen starred at Arizona in college), Markkanen comes in at plus-900 to be traded to the Warriors, the top odds of any team in the NBA.

The Spurs (plus-1250), Rockets and Thunder (both plus-1500) all come among the favorites for a Markkanen trade.

Lauri Markkanen Almost a Sacramento King?

Still, it is a longshot that Markkanen gets traded at all. The odds have him remaining with the Jazz at minus-150, and Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer said on the “No Cap Room” podcast that the odds of Markkanen being traded were only at 10%.

Fischer did report that the Sacramento Kings were close—or so they thought—to a deal for Markkanen.

“The Kings, to my knowledge, earlier this week were close to a deal,” he said on the podcast, via Bleacher Report. “I do think that, based off of conversations I’ve had. I can’t say more than that, but there were calls made to people around the NBA that would have indicated that talks have been legitimate there.”

And the Jazz have incentive to look for a trade on Markkanen. He will be a free agent after next season, and the Jazz will have to commit to an extension for him in the coming months if the intention is to keep him. Utah also would not mind tanking its way toward the top of the 2025 NBA draft, and dumping Markkanen would help do that.

Warriors Would Need to Offer a Creative Package

Another factor that influence the Jazz’s attempts to trade him: Markkanen played just 55 games this season, mostly missing time with a shoulder injury. For a player whose early career was stunted by nonstop injury woes, that will be a hindrance to a deal.

The question for the Warriors would be, what can they offer the Jazz that would be of significance to their rebuilding efforts? The Dubs do not want to trade Jonathan Kuminga, and likely would not do so for Markkanen.

Beyond that, the Warriors could include Andrew Wiggins and two future first-round draft picks to bring in Markkanen, but would likely have to find a third team to take on Wiggins, unless the Jazz want to trade him themselves.

Moses Moody and another young player could be thrown in into the mix, though the Warriors would need to take back another salary.

It remains a possibility, as the odds suggest. But adding Markkanen is a longshot—10%, maybe less.

Sean Deveney is a veteran sports reporter covering the NBA, NFL and MLB for Heavy.com. He has written for Heavy since 2019 and has more than two decades of experience covering the NBA, including 17 years as the lead NBA reporter for the Sporting News. Deveney is the author of 7 nonfiction books, including “Fun City,” “Before Wrigley became Wrigley,” and “Facing Michael Jordan.” More about Sean Deveney

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