Utah Jazz star forward Lauri Markkanen’s perceived trade value is reportedly similar to what the Jazz received for Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.
“So what’s the line for an acceptable offer?” Kevin O’Connor wrote. “My impression from talking to teams is that it’s something resembling the haul the Jazz received for Mitchell and Gobert: so, five-ish firsts and/or players of comparable value. This is a lot for Markkanen in the sense that he doesn’t have postseason scoring success like Mitchell, or three Defensive Player of the Year trophies like Gobert. As good as Lauri is, he’s made an All-Star team only once and thrived at this level in only one system. But his qualities seem like a fit for virtually any scenario you can imagine: Flanking Bam Adebayo in Miami’s frontcourt, adding a desperate influx of shooting to help Detroit’s young core, replacing Julius Randle in New York, filling open space in Golden State, operating in the two-man game with Tyrese Haliburton in Indiana, mixing in with Houston’s versatile core, thriving off the ball in New Orleans, or completing Oklahoma City’s core.”
The Jazz decided to trade both Mitchell and Gobert ahead of the start of the 2022-23 regular season. Utah was fresh off a season where it won 49 games during the regular season and lost to Luka Doncic and the Dallas Mavericks in six games in the first round of the playoffs.
For Mitchell, Utah received Collin Sexton, Ochai Agbaji, Markkanen, three first-round picks and two pick swaps from the Cleveland Cavaliers. For Gobert, the Jazz acquired Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, four first-round picks and one pick swap via the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Markkanen has picked up right where he left off after making the first All-Star team of his career a season ago. He is averaging 23.4 points, 8.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game while shooting 48.9 percent from the field and 39.0 percent from 3-point range across 17 games with Utah so far during the 2023-24 regular season.
But Markkanen’s production hasn’t led to a lot of wins for the Jazz this season. The team owns just the 12th-best record in the Western Conference at the moment at 9-17 and has won just four of its past 10 games.
The Jazz lost their most recent game — which came against the Sacramento Kings — on Dec. 16. Markannen logged 28 minutes of playing time in the loss and finished with 18 points, six rebounds and three assists while shooting 7-of-13 from the field and 2-of-5 from behind the 3-point line.
The next game on Utah’s schedule will be against the Brooklyn Nets on Monday. Brooklyn sits with the ninth-best record in the Eastern Conference at 13-12 and is riding a two-game losing streak, with its two losses coming against the Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors.
The fact that O’Connor reported that Markannen’s trade value is similar to what the Jazz received for Mitchell and Gobert highlights the fact that the 26-year-old has improved leaps and bounds as a player since joining Utah.