Sacramento Kings reportedly join sweepstakes for All-Star on NBA trade block

Lauri Markkanen, Sacramento Kings
Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

We have to hand it to general manager Monte McNair and the Sacramento Kings. Despite their salary cap issues, the Kings continue to be linked to big names.

It was just recently that a report surfaced indicating Sacramento was in on New Orleans Pelicans All-Star wing Brandon Ingram.

We knew something was up in California’s capital city after Sacramento dealt away recent first-round pick Davion Mitchell in a salary dump with the Toronto Raptors.

Now that the biggest names on the NBA free agent market have been signed, trades will start to be the name of the game. Expect Sacramento to continue being linked to some of the best-known names on the block.

We can now add another one to the expanding list.

According to Jake Fischer of Yahoo! Sports, Sacramento joins the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs in being in on Utah Jazz All-Star big man Lauri Markkanen.

Whether Sacramento has real assets to offer up for the sharp-shooting 7-footer remains to be seen. Utah will likely demand a haul similar to what the Brooklyn Nets received from the New York Knicks for Mikal Bridges last week. That is to say, five first-round picks or a combination of picks and young players.

Related: Updated Sacramento Kings news and rumors

Potential Sacramento Kings trade package for Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen, Sacramento Kings
Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Fischer notes that it’s believed the Jazz would demand stud young forward Keegan Murray as the centerpiece in any Markkanen trade.

He’s just 23 years old and on the verge of blossoming into a star. This leads some to believe that the Kings will simply go the Ingram route.

But if they were to value Markkanen over Ingram, moving Murray could make sense. The idea of him teaming up with fellow All-Star big Domantas Sabonis would create major mismatches for opposing teams. That’s especially true with star guard De’Aaron Fox doing his thing in the backcourt.

  • Lauri Markkanen stats (2023-24): 23.2 PPG, 8.2 RPG, 48% shooting, 40% 3-point

Any deal for Markkanen would also include Harrison Barnes and his $18 million salary for next season heading to Utah. Despite his absolutely brilliant play, the 27-year-old Markkanen is set to earn a mere $18 million himself next season. Sure he’d be in line for a massive extension. But the salaries would match.

From there, the Kings offer up a combination of first-round picks and pick swaps to make Jazz front office head Danny Ainge pull the trigger.

Read more: Ideal Lauri Markkanen landing spots, including the Sacramento Kings

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