Lauri Markkanen Trade Rumors: Kings ‘Were Close to a Deal’ amid Warriors, Spurs Buzz | News, Scores, Highlights, Stats, and Rumors

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The Sacramento Kings were reportedly close to pulling off a trade for Utah Jazz star big man Lauri Markkanen, according to Jake Fischer of Yahoo Sports.

“The Kings, to my knowledge, earlier this week were close to a deal,” he said during Wednesday’s No Cap Room podcast (40:30 mark). “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.”

He added that both the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs have reportedly shown interest, but that the Jazz are “conducting their business with a 10 percent chance they’re going to move him.”

With Mikal Bridges already traded to the New York Knicks and Paul George signing with the Philadelphia 76ers, Markkanen has become the hot name in the NBA rumor mill.

Sactown Sports 1140 @Sactown1140

According to @Tjonesonthenba, the Kings are “very interested” in Lauri Markkanen.

“Sacramento has what the Kings think is a strong offer on the board.”

On Tuesday, Chris Haynes of TNT Sports said the Warriors were the “aggressors” in the pursuit of Markkanen but the Spurs were “in on it as well.”

“It would really put a dent in the Warriors’ roster to try and make that deal happen and try to get the Jazz to bite,” he said. “I would be interested to see how they would go about doing it. But you know Danny [Ainge]he craves first-round picks. What can the Warriors do to come up with the necessary picks? … I’m told the Warriors, more importantly, are really pursuing, really trying to see what they can do to try and make it happen.”

Whether the Jazz are interested in dealing Markkenen, however, is another matter entirely. Much of the reporting has suggested the Jazz would need to be enticed with an offer they simply couldn’t refuse.

There’s a reason these teams apparently covet Markkanen. The 27-year-old has become one of the top stretch-4s in the NBA, averaging 23.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and two assists this past season while shooting 39.9 percent from three. He was an All-Star in the 2022-23 campaign and has taken huge strides in his two seasons with the Jazz.

It’s easy enough to see how he would fit with the Warriors, who could use another star next to Stephen Curry after losing Klay Thompson this offseason. Markkanen’s ability to stretch the floor would work well in Steve Kerr’s offense, essentially replacing Thompson’s impact at the 2 with a stretch-4.

The Kings, meanwhile, are looking for a third star to pair with De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, though the Jazz will probably want Keegan Murray in such a deal, which should give the Kings pause. Murray is only 23, took a solid step forward last season (15.2 PPG) and is a 38.4 percent three-point shooter for his career.

The Kings have already had a busy and solid offseason, re-signing Malik Monk, drafting Devin Carter at No. 13 overall and acquiring Jalen McDaniels in a trade. Landing Markkanen would take that offseason to another level, though giving up Murray may be too steep a price to pay.

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