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Lаkers Lаnd All-Stаr Bіg Mаn іn Bloсkbuster Projeсted Trаde

The Los Angeles Lakers have to put together a massive trade offer to land the perfect All-Star complement next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

The Los Angeles Lakers are in the midst of a pivotal offseason. First, they need to hire the franchise’s next head coach. Then, they have to ensure LeBron James stays in LA. Lastly, they must reshape the roster around LeBron and Anthony Davis to make sure the star duo can compete for a championship.

Since the Lakers don’t have cap space this summer, they will need to rely on the trade market to improve the roster. They have the matching salaries of Austin Reaves, Rui Hachimura, Gabe Vincent, and Jarred Vanderbilt that they can trade, as well as three future first-round picks, including the No. 17 overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft.

The Lakers can go two different ways on the trade market. They can either execute a few deals using a combination of these picks and players to get multiple high-level role players. Or they can use all of these assets to land a third star next to James and Davis.

One of the names that has recently emerged as a candidate to be that third star is Lauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz. Heavy’s Sean Deveney put Markkanen’s name out there last week and it has garnered significant attention online since then.

Why Markkanen is considered an ideal target for the Lakers is completely understandable. The combo forward is entering the final year of his contract and he is on one of the most team-friendly deals in the league, paying him only $18 million for next season. He will require a massive long-term deal, and if Utah thinks they are too far from contending, they might be willing to move him for assets.

With his shooting and finish ability, as well as his ability to play off-ball, Markkanen is an easy fit on any team. He is especially perfect next to LeBron and Davis. An All-Star caliber player with no real weaknesses is really hard to find in the NBA.

The only issue here is the price it would require to get him. The Jazz already have a ton of future picks thanks to the Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert trades. So, they don’t have an incentive to trade their best player for more draft picks. Therefore, it would have to be an offer they simply can’t turn down.

This would likely mean all three of the Lakers’ unprotected draft picks, as well as Austin Reaves. Even then, one has to wonder if another team in the league could beat that offer. Regardless, the Lakers have no choice but to make that proposal to the Jazz.