Sacramento Kings ‘were close’ to landing one of NBA’s most-wanted All-Stars this week

Sacramento Kings
Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

After winning 46 and 48 games in the past two seasons, yet never getting past the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the Sacramento Kings entered the offseason looking to make a splash. During the week of the 2024 NBA Draft, the Kings did make a fairly significant move, by trading former lottery pick Davion Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

At the time, this move was seen as a way to open up more playing time for rookie Devin Carter, the 13th pick in the NBA Draft. Yet, others felt like moving Mitchell was a sign that Kings GM Monte Morris had a much bigger move up his sleeves. If so, we haven’t seen it yet, as the Kings have remained dormant during NBA free agency.

But that doesn’t mean the Kings haven’t been actively discussing trades with other teams. In fact, the Kings were reportedly close to landing a rising All-Star who’s suddenly become one of the most highly sought-after players in basketball.

According to Yahoo Sports’ NBA insider Jake Fischer, the Kings were “close” to pulling off a blockbuster trade for Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen this past week. But there’s still a great amount of uncertainty over how willing the Jazz are to part with their franchise cornerstone.

“The Kings, to my knowledge, earlier this week were close to a deal. 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.”

Jake Fischer on Sacramento Kings rumors involving Lauri Markkanen

Of course, the Kings are not the only team that’s tried negotiating a trade for the 27-year-old scoring wizard. Fischer adds that fellow Western Conference teams such as the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs have also inquired about the trade cost.

Yet Fischer sounds doubtful about the likelihood that Markkanen will be dealt this summer, with the Jazz “conducting their business with a 10% chance they’re going to move him.”

Markkanen is entering the final year of his contract and is scheduled to earn a very reasonable $18 million this season. If traded, expectations are that Markkanen would sign a long-term extension with his new team, which is why others would like to get a deal done this summer, instead of compete to be the highest bidder next year during free agency.

Related: Sacramento Kings discussing trade for young All-Star scorer

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