Report: Several Within NBA Have Grown Convinced Jazz Will Keep Lauri Markkanen

According to NBA insider Anthony Slater of The Athletic, several within the NBA have grown more convinced that the Utah Jazz plan to renegotiate-and-extend Lauri Markkanen.

NBA, Thunder, Jazz, Spurs, Lauri Markkanen
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Markkanen becomes extension eligible on August 6. He’s on an expiring $18 million contract and due for a large long-term raise.

The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs remain in pursuit of Markkanen, sources told Hoops Wire. 

“There are several within the league who have grown more convinced that the Jazz, after exploring Markkanen’s trade market, plan to renegotiate-and-extend Markkanen, using their saved up cap space,” Slater wrote. “That would take Markkanen off the table for six months, if the extension is signed on Aug. 6, bringing him back into the mix on Feb. 6, the exact date of next season’s trade deadline. If Markkanen waits to extend an extra day, Aug. 7 or beyond, he’d be ineligible to be traded next season, an extra bit of leverage for Markkanen and an added layer of information to dictate Utah’s ultimate decision on his future.”

Markkanen is one of the best players in the NBA. He averaged 23.2 points, 8.2 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.5 blocks in 2023-24 while shooting 48.0% from the field, 39.9% from beyond the arc and 89.9% from the free-throw line in 55 games. 

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 won the 2022-23 Most Improved Player of the Year Award with Utah. 

“The Sacramento Kings put a substantial picks-based package on the table for Markkanen last week, but they had a time crunch, so it was an exploding offer, league sources said,” Slater wrote. “When the Jazz couldn’t give an answer in time, the Kings pivoted quickly to DeMar DeRozan, executing the three-team sign-and-trade for the next big fish on their board before he disappeared.”

According to NBA insider Marc Stein, Markkanen wants to remain with the Jazz, who went 31-51 this past season. 

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