NBA Trade Rumors: The Utah Jazz seem to have an outrageously high asking price for Lauri Markkanen ahead of the trade deadline.
Over the past two seasons, Lauri Markkanen has emerged as an All-Star talent that continues to improve. After a slow start to his career, Markkanen has absolutely thrived in his role with the Utah Jazz. However, on a rebuilding team, there's an argument to be made that Markkanen deserves a chance to prove his worth on a contender.
Heading into the NBA Trade Deadline, with the Jazz mightily struggling in the early stages of their rebuild, it's no surprise that his name has naturally popped up as a potential deadline target for emerging contenders. However, if any team does target Markkanen via trade before the deadline, the cost will be high.
The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor has the impression from around the league that the asking price for Markkanen may be similar to what the team received from Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. If that is accurate, in the words of KOC, the asking price for Markkanen would fall in the line of "five-ish firsts and/or players of comparable value.”
This pretty much falls in line with the recent reporting that suggests the Jazz aren't exactly shopping Markkanen ahead of the trade deadline but that they would be open to listening to offers if they come their way. It's hard to imagine that any team would be willing to make that level of offer for Markkanen but then again, the offer for Gobert from a couple of offseasons ago could've been expected either.
Would any team be willing to make a significant offer for Lauri Markkanen?
I think it just goes to show that it only takes one team to believe that Markkanen could be the final piece of their championship puzzle. If I had to come up with a list of teams that could make sense for Markkanen, while also being able to find a path toward what the Jazz would be looking for, it likely starts with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
In theory, Markkanen would make a great supporting start next to Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Chet Holmgren. Whether or not OKC is ready to make that level of splash remains to be seen, but they certainly have the assets to get a deal done.
Despite the recent reporting regarding Markkanen's potential availability ahead of the trade deadline, I'd still be pretty surprised if he was moved. Unless, of course, an offer comes along that the Jazz simply can't refuse. From the sound of this situation, that's exactly what it's going to take.