Utah Jazz Rule Out Lauri Markkanen for Wednesday's Game Against San Antonio Spurs

The Utah Jazz will be without their surprise All-Star for tonight's matchup with the San Antonio Spurs. The team has officially downgraded Lauri Markkanen to OUT with a left hand contusion.

Markkanen has missed three of the Jazz's past five games. Prior to that stretch, he had been an ironman, appearing in 63 of a possible 70 games. The Jazz are likely playing it safe with their star as they admit defeat in the closing stretch of the season; they're 35-40 and 12th in the Western Conference. Increasing their odds in the draft lottery will better serve them in the long run than fighting and clawing just for a chance to make the play-in tournament.

Even with their ugly record, the Jazz should consider their season access. Markkanen has proven himself a real building block in his first season with the team, averaging 25.7 points, 8.6 rebounds, and 1.9 assists per game with a very respectable .643 true shooting percentage. Given the massive haul of draft assets they acquired by trading away long-time stars Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, the Jazz have plenty of reasons for optimism going forward.

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