‘Growing Skepticism’ Jazz Star Lauri Markkanen Gets Traded This Summer

One of the biggest names on the NBA trade block this offseason has been All-Star big man Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz. Utah has been rebuilding since they traded away Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert, but Markkanen has been a nice gem that they have found. He has improved his game over the last few years, becoming a dominant force in the league. But with the Jazz still looking to bring in more future assets, the idea of the team moving Markkanen has come about.

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Multiple teams have inquired about Markkanen, with the Jazz giving off the signal that he is available but for a high price. Considering what some star players have been going for recently, Utah has all the leverage in any trade talks for the star. However, despite early optimism that a deal may get some with some team, it seems that Utah may end up just holding onto Markkanen, at least for now.

Lauri Markkanen
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – NOVEMBER 15: Lauri Markkanen #23 of the Utah Jazz blocks Julius Randle #30 of the New York Knicks during a game at Vivint Arena on November 15, 2022 in Salt…

Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

According to Anthony Slater of The Athletic, there is “growing skepticism” that the Jazz will ultimately trade Markkanen this summer. Slater also reported that the Sacramento Kings made a significant run at Markkanen before pivoting to DeMar DeRozan.

“The Kings went hard after the Utah Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen earlier in the week, protecting Keegan Murray in the discussions but putting on the table what they believe was a substantial enough picks-based offer, team sources said. But they put a deadline to their side of the deal, needing an answer quickly considering the urgency of the dissolving market. Utah didn’t meet it. There’s growing skepticism leaguewide that Jazz executive Danny Ainge will actually move on any Markkanen deal. So the Kings pivoted quickly to DeRozan, getting wind he’d actually have interest and then hitting the gas pedal. They had several veteran players and assistant coach Leandro Barbosa, who played two seasons with DeRozan in Toronto, call and give their pitch.”

The Golden State Warriors were another team interested in Markkanen and even reportedly presented the Jazz with a significant offer. But it seems that Utah may be content with holding onto Markkanen into the season.

Markkanen is precisely the type of player that every team wants: a big who can stretch the floor effectively. Last season, he averaged 23.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists per game. He also shot 39.9 percent from beyond the 3-point line. If Markkanen stays with Utah, the Jazz will likely compete for a play-in spot in the Western Conference. They will likely trade him at some point, but the situation in Utah seems to remain fluid going forward.

Read more: Warriors Reportedly Looking to Add West All-Star Via Blockbuster