Thunder Trade Proposal Lands Lauri Markkanen From Jazz

Lauri Markkanen, Utah Jazz, Washington Wizards, NBA News
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Every team in the NBA needs a franchise player. It’s the most important component of building a contender. If you don’t have a franchise player, you’re unlikely to contend for the NBA title. 

Do the Utah Jazz have a franchise player? It’s debatable. Lauri Markkanen is fantastic. He’s a star player. Is he someone who can carry a team to an NBA title? 

On the other hand, the Oklahoma City Thunder have their franchise player. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander has arrived, and nobody can deny his franchise player status. Could the Thunder pair him with Markkanen this summer? 

NBA Trade Proposal 

Utah Jazz Receive: G/F Luguentz Dort, G/F Josh Giddey, 2024 First-Round Pick (LAC via OKC), 2025 First-Round Pick (Top 6 Protected – PHI via OKC), 2027 First-Round Pick (OKC) 

Oklahoma City Thunder Receive: F Lauri Markkanen 

If you don’t have a franchise player, you’d better have assets. That’s not a problem for either of these teams. They’re both part of a small group of teams who have a majority share in the draft for the immediate future. 

What’s the point of having all of those picks? That’s a matter of debate. Some will suggest that building through the draft is the best course of action. The more picks you’ve got, the more bites at the apple you get. 

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

On the other hand, some would prefer to see their team bundle their picks to trade for a star. In the end, it depends on what place your team is in. Are the Thunder in a place to consolidate their assets? 

Why The Oklahoma City Thunder Do The Deal 

The Thunder are in an interesting position. They’ve got the most assets in the NBA. The Thunder are also already contending for the NBA title. This team has an embarrassment of riches. 

If the Thunder win this year’s title, they won’t want to make this move. Let’s assume they fall short of that mark. Wouldn’t it be wise to trade for a star who fits with their roster? 

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

Markkanen would be perfect. His ability to space the floor and create shots will make him a perfect next to Gilgeous-Alexander and Jalen Williams. His plus positional size will make him a useful defender alongside Chet Holmgren as well. Should the Jazz move their best player? 

Why The Utah Jazz Do The Deal 

The Jazz can justify hanging onto Markkanen. He’s their best player, and he’s young. Isn’t this the type of guy you’re hoping to find in the draft anyway? 

Sure – after you’ve found your franchise player. The Jazz have talent around Markkanen. This team may be stuck on the mediocrity treadmill. It’s hard to imagine how this team improves without moving Markkanen. 

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

It may be time for the Jazz to tank. This deal is partly about trying to maximize their lottery odds in 2025. It’s also about adding three first-round picks to what’s already one of the best collections of draft capital in the NBA. Hopefully, that will help the Jazz find their franchise player. 

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