Sixers Trade For Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen In Bold Proposal

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It’s hard to recall now, but the Philadelphia 76ers began the 2023-24 NBA season with James Harden on their roster. He didn’t suit up for them once, but he was on the team. Now, he’s a member of the Los Angeles Clippers. 

There’s hardly even any evidence of his time with the Sixers. Most expected them to trade him for another star in return. Generally, that’s been general manager Daryl Morey’s M.O. This time, he deviated from the game plan. Morey moved Harden for little more than draft capital. 

That doesn’t mean that he won’t eventually trade for a star. With that said, the Sixers have good with their current core. If they’re going to make a move for a star, it’s got to be the right guy.

Could Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz be the star for the Sixers? 

NBA Trade Proposal: Philadelphia 76ers Land Utah Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen

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Utah Jazz Receive: F/C Marcus Morris Sr, 2028 First-Round Pick (LAC via PHI), 2029 First-Round Pick (PHI), 2030 First-Round Pick (Swap – PHI) 
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: F Lauri Markkanen

With that said, Morey understands the value of star players. So does Jazz general manager Danny Ainge. Each of these GMs is known for making savvy moves. Yet, the approach that each takes to acquiring star players is different. 

Ainge notoriously accumulates assets. He was the architect of the deal that would eventually bring Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to the Boston Celtics.

Ainge didn’t trade directly for either star – he acquired draft capital that he’d trade for them. Last summer, he took a similar approach when moving Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

In some respects, Morey took a page out of Ainge’s book with his recent Harden trade. Typically, he prefers to trade directly for stars, but in this case, he acquired assets instead.

Could he use those assets to acquire Markkanen? 

Why The Philadelphia 76ers Do The Deal 

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Arguably, the Sixers don’t need a star. Joel Embiid is among the best players in the NBA. This year, Tyrese Maxey has looked poised to join the same discussion.

The Sixers already have a star duo – could they be wise to surround them with better role players? Perhaps. Yet, the right star could make them stronger. It shouldn’t be a lead ball-handler – Maxey has that covered.

How about a front-court player who can create his shot and space the floor around Embiid and Maxey? That’s Markkanen. He’d give the Sixers a massive frontcourt after moving Tobias Harris to the three full-time.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

He’d also give them a third star. The Sixers could be impossible to guard after this move. Should the Jazz help them build a contender? 

Why The Utah Jazz Do The Deal 

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Some Jazz fans will protest here. Markkanen is still young – the Jazz don’t have to move him. Yet, he’s in his prime, and the Jazz are losing anyway. Typically, that’s a reason to move a player in the NBA. 

Let’s assume Utah is open to moving Markkanen. What should they seek in return for him? Above all else, they should add to their already impressive collection of draft capital.

Here, they’re getting two first-round picks and a swap. Is that market value? The Jazz should let the market decide. If they get a better offer, they should accept it.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers Updates

Still, it’s worth noting that a distant unprotected first from an aging Clippers squad is especially valuable. In a few years, it may be easy to forget the struggles that Utah faced in 2023-24. 

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