Warriors, Spurs Remain On The Chase For Lauri Markkanen

rsz lauri markkanen utah jazz 031823
rsz lauri markkanen utah jazz 031823

Two NBA teams that could be heading in opposite directions are still looking to bolster their rosters, as the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors have both maintained their interest in Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen.

Warriors, Spurs Still Eyeing Lauri Markkanen

The Warriors have obvious needs to fill. They’ve already missed out on Paul George and saw Klay Thompson walk in free agency, and are looking to capitalize on Stephen Curry’s late career by fielding a competitive roster around him. They’ve had their names attached to the Markkanen Sweepstakes from the beginning, and Brett Siegel of ClutchPoints reports that the two sides have had conversations in just the past week.

The Spurs are trying to add talent in a different way. They have already added savvy veterans in Chris Paul and Harrison Barnes to team up with young phenom Victor Wembanyama, and bringing in one of the league’s best shooting big men is apparently on their agenda. They, too, have spoken with the Jazz about Markkanen in the past 7 days.

Bridges Trade May Have Set The Market Too High

While they are certainly taking phone calls, it doesn’t appear that Utah is actively trying to get rid of the 27-year-old Markkanen. And even if they are, Danny Ainge is one of the front office voices who is likely heading negotiations, and he is known for squeezing the absolute most out of assets on the trade market.

An added caveat is the Mikal Bridges trade that happened two weeks ago. The Knicks sent what equates to six first round picks in order to acquire Bridges from the Nets, a hefty price to pay for a player who has never made an All-Star team. Markkenen does have an All-Star appearance to go along with a Most Improved Player award under his belt, and had a more efficient season than Bridges did in 2023-24.

If the Jazz are asking for a similar package in exchange for their asset, it would explain the hold up in action on that front. The Warriors have picks and some talent to trade, but could be reluctant to mortgage their future for a non-superstar player.

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