Pelicans Trade For Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen In Bold Proposal

Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, NBA
NBA Analysis Network

The modern NBA trade market is fueled by first-round picks. They’re the league’s currency. If you want to trade for a star player, in all likelihood, you’ll have to be willing to offer the most first-round picks.

When a team chooses to rebuild, they’ll prioritize draft capital above all else. Why shouldn’t they? Teams have realized that if they’re looking for a fresh start, they should really start from scratch. Trading for a younger player with star upside is an option, but it may make it more difficult to tank.

Modern teams would prefer to accept draft capital, mine the lottery for their own franchise player, and then start thinking about how they’re going to use those picks.

That’s why draft capital dominates the market. With that in mind, the Utah Jazz have one of the strongest holds on the league’s market. 

On the other hand, they’re not built to win now. The Jazz have been struggling this season. So long as that’s true, they may want to make a move for more draft capital.

Could they send Lauri Markkanen to the New Orleans Pelicans? 

NBA Trade Proposal: New Orleans Pelicans Land Utah Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, NBA News
NBA Analysis Network
Utah Jazz Receive: C Jonas Valanciunas, G Kira Lewis Jr., 2024 First-Round Pick (LAL via NOP), 2026 First-Round Pick (NOP), 2027 First-Round Pick (MIL via NOP) 
New Orleans Pelicans Receive: F Lauri Markkanen 

With that said, every first-round pick is not equal. More broadly, a first-round pick is a little bit like a mystery box. When you acquire an unprotected first, you don’t know exactly what you’re getting.

You don’t entirely know the value of the asset until the pick conveys. Sometimes, fans will sell the value of picks short for that reason. When the pick comes from a contender, they’ll say that it’s got little value.

To be sure, the quality of the asset is lowered if it’s coming from a contender. With that said, the NBA is unpredictable. All it takes is one injury, and suddenly, you’re in the lottery. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Moreover, smart teams can find good players later in the draft. With that said, everyone wants the first overall pick. The Pelicans landed the top selection in their recent history and used it on Zion Williamson.

When he’s been healthy, he’s proven that selection to be a wise one – but unfortunately, he’s scarcely available.

Should the Pelicans land Markkanen to ensure they can put a star forward on the floor? 

Why The New Orleans Pelicans Do The Deal 

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NBA Analysis Network

Some Pelicans fans may be questioning our logic here. Their two best players are forwards. How will the Pelicans find minutes for Williamson, Markkanen, and Brandon Ingram? 

We think they can make it work. This is the modern, positionless NBA. The Pelicans could run Markkanen at the five and produce an elite offense. They could slot Ingram in at the two and seek size advantages at every position.

Markkanen has spent time at the three throughout his career. The Pelicans can find the right balance between these three stars. If they can, they could be explosive as a result.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

With this trio on the roster, the Pelicans should be impossible to guard. Moreover, it is worth having Markkanen as an insurance policy for Williamson’s frequent absences.

Should the Jazz really help the Pelicans put so much talent together? 

Why The Utah Jazz Do The Deal 

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NBA Analysis Network

There’s nothing complicated at play here. Markkanen is an outstanding player, and the Jazz are losing anyway. More often than not, that’s enough to motivate a team to rebuild. The Jazz should be no exception. 

Realistically, this team was expected to rebuild last summer. The Jazz traded Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert and got an incredible haul of draft capital in return.

Acquiring Markkanen felt like an afterthought. He was a solid young player, and the team needed to take contracts back to make the move work. Suddenly, Markkanen broke out as a star, and the Jazz were more competitive than expected. This wasn’t the plan. The Jazz should get back on track.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, New Orleans Pelicans Updates

Flipping Markkanen for a trio of first-round picks will put Utah in a position to tank, and in time, they can use those picks to build a roster that can truly contend. They’ll have one of the best collections of draft capital in the league – what more could they want? 

About James Piercey 3866 Articles
When it comes to exploring the endless possibilities of NBA trades, there's no one quite like James Piercey. With a keen eye for player dynamics, salary cap intricacies, and a knack for discovering uncharted trade territory, James has risen to prominence as the preeminent expert in the realm of hypothetical NBA trades. James is also known for his work covering the Houston Rockets for SB Nation's The Dream Shake — a blog that gives a daily, comprehensive look at the team. He has written for various outlets, including FanSided and Last Word on Sports, among others.