NBA Trade Rumors: 2 Blockbuster offers to help Atlanta Hawks acquire Lauri Markkanen

Could the Atlanta Hawks make a big move for Lauri Markkanen ahead of the NBA Trade Deadline?

Brooklyn Nets v Utah Jazz
Brooklyn Nets v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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Hawks Markkanen trade

Blockbuster package No. 2

This trade becomes a possibility if the Jazz aren't willing to take on Hunter's contract, if they are scared off by his current injury, or if the Hawks are set on keeping him.

This trade in the meantime (while Hunter is out with the injury) gives the Hawks a likely starting lineup of Young- Murray- Johnson-Markkanen-Capela (the same as the previous trade, however Hunter would be coming back in this one). Then off the bench would be Bogdan Bogdanovic, Onyeka Okongwu, Garrison Matthews, Wesley Matthews, and Seth Lundy. Then once Hunter comes back, he would likely move into the starting lineup with Johnson returning to the bench.

Saddiq Bey is a solid option for the Jazz as a fringe starter. While he's still 24 years old and just in year 4, you feel like he is what he is. Either a capable starter or a very strong bench piece. Bey looked like he might be in store for a career renascence after being traded to the Hawks at last year's deadline (averaged 11.6 points and 4.8 rebounds per game on 47% shooting from the field and a superb 40% from three after the trade). However, he's leveled back out a bit efficiency-wise. He's currently averaging 12.9 points and 6.4 rebounds per game on 45.8%/34.4%/79.7% shooting splits across 30 games (18 starts) this season. Bey is in the final year of his rookie deal (making 4.56 mil) and will head into Restricted Free Agency this offseason.

Bey also plays Power Forward, which is the same position as Markkanen. He would help the Jazz out this season in terms of replacing Markkanen, while also having a half-season audition for them in order for them to see whether they should work out an extension this off-season.

Griffin was included in this trade as well as the previous one.

Kobe Bufkin was the Hawks' first-round draft pick this past year, at No. 15 overall. He hasn't yet gotten much playing time yet due to injury, but is another player with a lot of potential. He's coming off averaging 14 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.9 assists on 48.2%/35.5%/84.9% splits last year at Michigan. Bufkin is relatively cheap as well as a mid-first rounder. He's making 4.1 million this year, and then has up to 3 years and up to 15.7 million remaining on his rookie deal. He has the rookie deal team options in 2025 and 2026.

Patty Mills would likely essentially just be involved in the trade to help the salaries match. The 35-year-old has only appeared in 5 games this year for the Hawks. He is making 6.8 million this season and is a Free Agent at year's end. He could be a possible buyout candidate.

This trade gives the Hawks Markkanen as we've already discussed. For the Jazz, they get two talented youngsters, two first-round picks, a solid 24-year-old to help replace Markkanen positionally, plus two other pick swaps.

Griffin and Bufkin (or just Griffin in the previous trade) would join the Jazz' young core that includes the likes of Taylor Hendricks, Keyonte George, Walker Kessler, Ochai Agbaji, and Brice Sensabaugh.

Overall, I think Hawks fans would be upset with the departures of Griffin (in either trade) and Bufkin (in this one). However, I believe that for the Hawks to try and put a contending roster around Trae Young, a move for Markkanen might be one they need to make. Hawks fans would also probably be upset with this deal because once Hunter comes back it potentially fully blocks Jalen Johnson from the starting lineup.

This trade would do more harm to the Hawks' depth compared to the other one (and they'd be trading away Bufkin). However, they would be able to keep De'Andre Hunter.