Report: Lakers, Knicks, Heat Interested In Trading For Jazz Star Lauri Markkanen

According to NBA insider Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports, the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Miami Heat are interested in trading for Utah Jazz star Lauri Markkanen.

NBA, Lauri Markkanen
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Markkanen has one year left on his contract. 

“They’ll listen,” one Western Conference executive said. “They always listen. Danny’s reputation is overblown. He wants a championship team, he wants to do what Sam Presti has done in Oklahoma City. He knows he is a long way off still. They’ll be tough and the price will be high but that’s how it should be.”

Markkanen appeared in 55 games for the Jazz this season. He averaged 23.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks while shooting 48.0% from the field, 39.9% from beyond the arc and 89.9% from the free-throw line. 

A one-time All-Star, Markkanen won the 2022-23 Most Improved Player of the Year Award. 

“There are a few teams that, when you look at it, he is going to be their dream target,” one NBA GM said. “The Lakers, you get a guy like him with Anthony Davis, and that’s perfect for both guys. The Knicks would love to get hold of him. The Heat, again, put him with Bam (Adebayo) and that is the pair you want to build around, you can send Jimmy (Butler) wherever he wants.

“Just the floor-spacing aspect of it, it’s so valuable. He could make things easier on your stars.”

Markkanen will make $18 million next season. The Jazz, who went 31-51 this season, can sign him to an extension this offseason. 

The 27-year-old Markkanen has career averages of 18.1 points, 7.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists, 0.7 steals and 0.5 blocks with the Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers and Jazz. He’s one of the best players in the NBA. 

“The problem for the Lakers, the best offer is going to be Rui (Hachimura) and Austin Reaves and two first-rounders, let’s say. Well, if I am Oklahoma City, I can beat that. If I am Houston, I can beat that. The Warriors can beat it—it’s a long list,” one NBA GM said.

“So the only way that happens is maybe other teams get worried about his injury history and the Lakers are sitting there with the best offer. If Utah knows they’re not gonna extend him, you’d have to consider it. I do think they extend him, but still, you’ve got to consider it.”

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