‘Blockbuster’ Trade Proposal Sends Jazz Star Lauri Markkanen To Thunder

One NBA analyst proposed that the Oklahoma City Thunder acquire Lauri Markkanen from the Utah Jazz this offseason. 

NBA, Jazz, Thunder, Lauri Markkanen
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Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report proposed the following “blockbuster” trade idea between the Thunder and Jazz:

The Trade: The Oklahoma City Thunder acquire Lauri Markkanen from the Utah Jazz for Josh Giddey, Cason Wallace and three future first-round picks

The last time the Thunder made a massive trade, they sent Paul George to the Los Angeles Clippers for Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and a bunch of draft picks.

Hughes believes Markkanen would make OKC “terrifying” on offense. 

“Markkanen would add a terrifying dimension to a five-out offense, dramatically upgrading Giddey’s spot in the first unit—all while adding significant size to a squad that got beat up on the boards,” Hughes wrote. “OKC has faced roster crunches in the last few seasons as is, so moving off some of its picks might be an inevitability regardless. It can’t keep onboarding two or three rookies every year, waiting for them to develop and then extending them. All of those financial issues that everyone is worried about would arise in that ‘conservative’ scenario, too.”

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 this season for the Jazz 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 will make $18 million next season in the final year of his contract. He 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. 

The Thunder lost to the Dallas Mavericks in the second round of the 2024 playoffs in six games, while the Jazz missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year. 

If this mock trade happened, the Thunder would have a lethal “Big 4” of Gilgeous-Alexander, Markkanen, Jalen Williams and Chet Holmgren.

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