San Antonio Spurs named as NBA insider’s favorite to land Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen
Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

The San Antonio Spurs have added to their core this offseason by selecting Stephon Castle with the fourth pick in the 2024 NBA Draft. He joins Victor Wembanyama and Devin Vassell, among others. Now trade rumors involving Lauri Markkanen are circulating too.

But the Spurs aren’t the only team linked to a Markkanen trade. Recently, the Kings, Warriors, and Heat have been mentioned as potential trade candidates for the Utah Jazz All-Star too.

While there’s no guarantee the Jazz will trade Markkanen, he has just one year left on his contract. Eventually, a decision has to be made on his future, whether it’s via a contract extension or trade.

Yet, some NBA insiders, like ESPN’s Zach Lowe, still believe the Spurs can emerge as the winners of the Markkanen trade sweepstakes.

“They still have some cap flexibility to add another player this offseason. (They are my personal favorite Markkanen destination, though I suspect those negotiations — should they happen — could fall apart around Devin Vassell.)”

Zach Lowe on San Antonio Spurs’ interest in Lauri Markkanen

Markkanen would be a great fit next to Victor Wembanyama, bringing another sweet-shooting 7-footer to San Antonio’s frontcourt. He’d provide an immediate scoring jolt, helping the Spurs become a threat in the Western Conference earlier than anticipated.

Yet, as mentioned, there’s no guarantee that Utah is willing to part with the 27-year-old forward who averaged 23.2 points per game last season. The Spurs have 12 tradeable first-round picks through 2030, so they have plenty of future assets to offer for Markkanen, but is it enough to move the needle?

So far, none of the other offers have intrigued Utah. The Warriors reportedly presented an offer largely based on draft picks, but that hasn’t been enough for the Jazz thus far. Perhaps San Antonio is running into the same issues during trade negotiations.

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