Miami Heat become latest team linked to Lauri Markkanen trade rumors

Miami Heat
Credit: Christopher Creveling-USA TODAY Sports

For several seasons, the Miami Heat have been linked to trades involving star talents to pair with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo. Pat Riley hasn’t gotten a deal done, for whatever reason, but now they’re involved again with Lauri Markkanen.

The Utah Jazz have been listening to offers on their All-Star forward this summer. But it remains to be seen just how serious they are about trading their franchise cornerstone. Multiple teams, including the Kings, Warriors, and Spurs, have been linked to Markkanen. But this is the first time we’ve heard about the Heat’s involvement.

As ESPN’s Zach Lowe reports, “a pile of teams” have noted interest in Markkanen, which now apparently includes Miami. Markkanen is entering the final year of his contract, so a resolution on his future in Utah is coming soon. Yet, he can’t sign his extension until early August.

What’s interesting about Lowe’s report is the idea that teams may actually prefer to wait until Markkanen signs that extension before making a godfather offer.

“Most teams interested in Markkanen are capped out and thus could not extend him upon acquiring him. It’s possible Markkanen would have more trade value if the Jazz extend him first, providing security for interested teams.”

Zach Lowe on Lauri Markkanen trade rumors

According to The Athletic’s Tony Jones, the Warriors have presented an offer for Markkanen that’s “heavily pick-based.” It’s not known what type of offer Miami’s been offering, but he’d be a great match with the defensive-minded Heat.

No matter what, Markkanen enters the season with an $18 million salary, which is more than reasonable for a 27-year-old All-Star who still hasn’t reached his peak.

After averaging 24.5 points per game since being traded to Utah, it’s no wonder Markkanen has become so highly sought-after. A 7-footer with a career 37.5% 3-point rate, he’d fit a lot of teams.

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