Report: Jazz unlikely to trade Markkanen amid Warriors buzz

Lauri Markkanen’s trade sweepstakes have taken a new twist – and it doesn’t favor either the Warriors or Kings. 

Golden State and Sacramento have been at the center of trade speculation regarding the Jazz forward, with reports characterizing the Warriors as the “aggressors” within the teams after the 27-year-old’s services. 

Utah, however, is “conducting their business with a “10 percent chance they’re going to move him,” Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer reported on Wednesday. (h/t Bleacher Report)

There are many reasons why the Jazz remain hesitant to lose Markkanen and why the Warriors, Kings and San Antonio Spurs have all expressed interest in the Finnish star. 

An NBA All-Star and winner of the 2023 Most Improved Player award, Markkanen averaged 23.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game on 48-percent shooting from the field and a laudable 39.9-percent mark from 3-point range in 55 games for Utah during the 2023-24 NBA season. 

Fischer added that the Kings, who, like the Warriors, appear to be after a difference-making forward this offseason, were recently close to securing a trade for Markkanen. 

“The Kings, to my knowledge, earlier this week were close to a deal,” Fischer said on Wednesday’s episode of “No Cap Room” podcast. “I do think that, based off of conversations I’ve had. I can’t say more than that, but there were calls made to people around the NBA that would have indicated that talks have been legitimate there.”

Golden State Warriors

Golden State didn’t remain stagnant while working through a deal for Markkanen, reportedly acquiring proven sharpshooter Buddy Hield in a sign-and-trade with the Philadelphia 76ers. 

The 31-year-old will add scoring prowess, but it’s likely the Warriors continue looking for pieces to complement superstar point guard Stephen Curry following Klay Thompson’s departure. 

It might prove difficult adding Markkanen to coach Steve Kerr’s rotation, but then again, the offseason is young, and it’s imprudent to count out the Warriors.  

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