NBA Rumors: "Dream Scenario" Would Land Laurie Markkanen With LA Lakers

A new name that has emerged as one of the most coveted on the trade market heading into the summer season is the Utah Jazz's leading scorer Laurie Markkanen. He is being pursued by many, with the Los Angeles Lakers notably at the top of the list. 

One league general manager told Sean Deveney of Heavy Sports that the Lakers will make a big pitch for Markkanen. But he also outlined several other teams that could heavily pursue the lethal scoring forward if he's made available. 

“The problem for the Lakers, the best offer is going to be Rui (Hachimura) and Austin Reaves and two first-rounders, let’s say. Well, if I am Oklahoma City, I can beat that. If I am Houston, I can beat that. The Warriors can beat it—it’s a long list,” the GM told Deveney.

There are a few teams that, when you look at it, he is going to be their dream target. The Lakers, you get a guy like him with Anthony Davis, and that’s perfect for both guys. 

The (New York) Knicks would love to get hold of him. The (Miami) Heat, again, put him with Bam (Adebayo) and (if) that is the pair you want to build around, you can send Jimmy (Butler) wherever he wants.

There is no question that Jazz CEO Danny Ainge will be listening on Markkanen, per one Western Conference executive. “They always listen. Danny’s reputation is overblown. He wants a championship team, he wants to do what Sam Presti has done in Oklahoma City. He knows he is a long way off still. They’ll be tough and the price will be high but that’s how it should be.”

Markkanen can score from inside and outside, and would take a massive amount of pressure off Anthony Davis and LeBron James if the Lakers pull off a deal. Markkanen has averaged 24.5 points in his two years in Salt Lake, while shooting 39.5% from three-point range. He's also averaged 8.4 rebounds and two assists.

Staying healthy is still an issue for the 7-footer, however, as he only played 55 games this past season and 66 the year before. Combine that with AD's frequent absences from the lineup over the years, and that could potentially be a troublesome combination for the Purple & Gold (despite a very robust number of 76 games for Davis this past season). 

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