Lauri Markkanen trade rumors: Kings ‘close to deal’ amid Warriors, Spurs rumors | News, scores, highlights, stats and rumors

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The Sacramento Kings are reportedly close to finalizing a trade for Utah Jazz star center Lauri Markkanen, according to Yahoo Sports’ Jake Fischer.

“The Kings, as far as I know, were close to reaching an agreement earlier this week,” he said during Wednesday’s speech. No limit on rooms podcast (40:30). “I think so, based on the conversations I’ve had. I can’t say more than that, but there were calls made to people in the NBA that would have indicated that the conversations had been legitimate there.”

He added that both the Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs have reportedly shown interest, but that the Jazz are “conducting business with a 10 percent chance of trading him.”

With Mikal Bridges already traded to the New York Knicks and Paul George signing with the Philadelphia 76ers, Markkanen has become the hot name in NBA rumors.

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According to @Tjonesonthenbathe Kings are “very interested” in Lauri Markkanen.

“Sacramento has what the Kings believe is a solid offer.”

On Tuesday, TNT Sports’ Chris Haynes said the Warriors were the “aggressors” in pursuing Markkanen, but that the Spurs “were also involved.”

“It would really put a dent in the Warriors’ roster if they tried to get that deal done and tried to get the Jazz to take it,” he said. “I’d be interested to see how they would go about it. But you know, Danny (Ainge), he craves first-round picks. What can the Warriors do to get the picks they need? … I’m told the Warriors, more importantly, are really trying to see what they can do to try to make that happen.”

Whether the Jazz are interested in trading Markkenen, however, is another question entirely. Many reports have suggested that the Jazz would have to be tempted with an offer they simply couldn’t refuse.

There’s a reason these teams seemingly covet Markkanen. The 27-year-old has emerged as one of the NBA’s best cornerbacks, averaging 23.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and two assists last season while shooting 39.9 percent from 3-point range. He was an All-Star in the 2022-23 campaign and has made huge strides in his two seasons with the Jazz.

It’s pretty easy to see how he’d fit in with the Warriors, who could use another star alongside Stephen Curry after losing Klay Thompson this offseason. Markkanen’s ability to space the floor would work well in Steve Kerr’s offense, essentially replacing Thompson’s impact at the 2 with a spread 4.

Meanwhile, the Kings are looking for a third star to pair with De’Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis, though the Jazz will likely want Keegan Murray in that deal, which should give the Kings pause. Murray is just 23, took a solid step forward last season (15.2 points per game) and is shooting 38.4 percent on 3-pointers for his career.

The Kings have already had a very active and solid offseason, re-signing Malik Monk, selecting Devin Carter at No. 13 overall in the draft and acquiring Jalen McDaniels in a trade. Signing Markkanen would take that offseason to another level, though giving up Murray may be too high a price to pay.

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