Thunder Trade For Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen In Bold Proposal

Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, Oklahoma City Thunder, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

If the Oklahoma City Thunder want a player, and he’s available, they can get him. That’s the benefit of having the most draft capital in the NBA.

The Thunder have the biggest share in that market. Arguably, that makes them the most significant player in the trade market. We don’t know if Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz will be available.

It’s been heavily speculated that he could be. At the same time, there’s been no formal indication from the Jazz that he’s on the market. It’s entirely possible that they’d prefer to hang onto their star forward. 

At the same time, wouldn’t they like to control the draft market? The Jazz already have an impressive collection of picks.

If they moved Markkanen, they could take the pole position in that market – especially if they traded him to the Thunder. 

NBA Trade Proposal: Oklahoma City Thunder Land Utah Jazz’s Lauri Markkanen

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NBA Analysis Network
Utah Jazz Receive: F Davis Bertans, G/F Josh Giddey, 2024 First-Round Pick (Top 4 Protected – HOU via OKC), 2025 First-Round Pick (Top 5 Protected – PHI via OKC), 2026 First-Round Pick (OKC) 
Oklahoma City Thunder Receive: F Lauri Markkanen 

The Thunder don’t have to make this trade. They could justify staying the course in 2023-24. Why not? The Thunder are already one of the best teams in the Western Conference.

They don’t necessarily need Markkanen. It seems like general manager Sam Presti agrees. Recently, he made some comments suggesting that the Thunder are in no rush to consolidate their assets. Fair enough. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Lauri Markkanen, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz Updates

Only, at some point, the Thunder will have to consolidate those assets. That’s a fact. The Thunder have too many picks to use moving forward.

The only question is whether Markkanen is the right target for them or not. Is he? 

Why The Oklahoma City Thunder Do The Deal 

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NBA Analysis Network

We think so. Let’s talk about Markkanen. Who is he? Well, he’s a 7-foot forward who can create his shot. He can also space the floor. In other words, he’s the perfect player for the rest of this Thunder core. 

After all, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is going to be their primary playmaker. Jalen Williams looks like an alpha scorer. The Thunder need an offensive player who can be a star while doubling as a role player.

That’s Markkanen to a tee. The fit here is perfect – on the offensive end, anyway. Defensively? Markkanen is roughly average. That should be enough alongside Chet Holmgren.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Lauri Markkanen, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz Updates

His ability to dominate as a rim protector can cover for any limitation that Markkanen may have. Should the Jazz part with such a well-rounded player? 

Why The Utah Jazz Do The Deal 

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NBA Analysis Network

It’s debatable. Perhaps that’s why it’s the subject of debate. Some feel that the entire point of a rebuild is to find a player like Markkanen. Why would the Jazz give him up? 

Well, let’s be honest. As talented as Markkanen is, he’s not a franchise player. The point of a rebuild is to find an (even) better player. The Jazz should be rebuilding towards the future.

Realistically, they landed Markkanen with those intentions – he simply outperformed expectations. That’s why we’ve got them landing three firsts in this deal. That’s a hefty return.

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Lauri Markkanen, Oklahoma City Thunder, Utah Jazz Updates

Granted, one of them is protected, but it’s almost certain to convey. After all, the Rockets have no incentive to lose – unsurprisingly, the Thunder own their pick. 

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