Lauri Markkanen No Longer Untouchable; NBA Trade Suitors To Watch

Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

Only a handful of NBA players are untouchable. There are three or four players in the whole league whose front offices wouldn’t trade them for anyone. Teams may say that other players are untouchable, but rest assured, they’ve got a price. 

For a while, the Utah Jazz seemed to be communicating that Lauri Markkanen was untouchable. That always felt unrealistic. We’re not taking anything away from Markkanen. He’s a 26-year-old who recently earned an All-NBA selection. Still: untouchable? 

It seems that Utah may be reconsidering its position. Recent reports have suggested that the Jazz could entertain moving Markkanen for the right price. Here are three teams that we think ought to take a look at him. 

Atlanta Hawks 

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NBA Analysis Network

We know the Atlanta Hawks have been linked to 4s. They’ve been perhaps the primary suitor for Pascal Siakam of the Toronto Raptors. Atlanta seems to want to empty its remaining clip of resources and land a star forward. 

Why not Markkanen? His floor spacing will open up the court for Trae Young and Dejounte Murray. He seems like an optimal co-star on a  team that’s run through dual engines. Markkanen can play a supporting role, and he can take over lead man duties when needed. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, Atlanta Hawks Updates

Do the Hawks have enough to land him? That’s a different question. If Markkanen hits the open market, there will be healthy competition for his services. This next team should be able to outbid any rival suitor. 

Oklahoma City Thunder 

NBA Oklahoma City Thunder
NBA Analysis Network

If the Oklahoma City Thunder want an available player, they can have him. This team has the most draft capital in NBA history. Nobody can outbid Oklahoma City. Should they want Markkanen? 

We certainly think they should look at him. All of the benefits the Hawks would enjoy apply to the Thunder. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander should feast on open looks at the rim with Markkanen (and Holmgren) spacing the floor. This feels like a perfect marriage. 

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

Still, that’s just our opinion. The Thunder are rolling this season – they may feel that they should keep this group together and keep developing their chemistry. Is there another team who could make a play for Markkanen? 

Sacramento Kings 

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NBA Analysis Network

That same dynamic of an elite lead ball-handler would exist here. De’Aaron Fox and Markkanen ought to pair perfectly together. With that said, there’s another wrinkle in this Sacramento Kings’ offense that would make Markkanen a perfect fit. 

He ought to be able to play well with Domantas Sabonis. When he’s on the low block, having Markkanen on the perimeter will make him more difficult to double-team. This potent Kings offense would get even more dangerous after acquiring Markkanen. 

NBA NEWS & TRADE RUMORS: Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, Sacramento Kings Updates

He’ll come at a cost. The Kings would likely have to part with Keegan Murray and whatever draft capital they can scrape together. Markkanen may not be untouchable – but he’ll still be hard to get. 

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