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SLC Dunk Podcast: The importance of Mike Conley, the possibility of tanking, and Lauri Markkanen’s All-Star odds

Mike Conley’s impact, Collin Sexton’s future, Lauri Markkanen’s All-Star odds, and more.

Phoenix Suns v Utah Jazz Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The SLC Dunk Podcast returns with James Hansen and Calvin Chappell talking about the Utah Jazz and their current five-game losing streak. With Mike Conley’s absence coinciding with the Jazz losing, we discussed his impact on the team, his trade value, and what Utah may decide to do with him.

We also talked about Collin Sexton and his play since entering the starting lineup. Sexton is a big question mark for the future of the Jazz. His highs have been exciting and reassuring, while his lows have been scary. We talked about his speed, his playmaking, and his basketball IQ.

The next topic was Lauri Markkanen and his odds of making the All-Star team. As a forward in the Western Conference, he’ll have to compete against a whole host of star players, including LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Nikola Jokic, Paul George, and more. There are 6 guaranteed spots for frontcourt players from the Western Conference, plus two wildcard spots. LeBron James is almost guaranteed to be voted in by the fans regardless of his play, so that number is really 5-7. Jokic, Davis, and George are very likely in, so that leaves 2-4 spots for; Lauri Markkanen, Draymond Green, Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, Kawhi Leonard, Jerami Grant, Domantas Sabonis, Andrew Wiggins, Jaren Jackson Jr, and more.

Markkanen’s numbers are good enough. He’s having an incredible year. When Utah was at the top of the standings, it looked very likely that he’d make it. With them dropping to ninth, he’s now on the outside looking in. He may get the nod, but it won’t be easy.

As always, we then got to talking about the possibility of tanking and whether the Jazz should do it or not. Victor Wembanyama, Scoot Henderson, and the rest of the projected 2023 NBA draft class have been balling out for the world to see. Wembanyama, in particular, is looking more and more like a sure superstar. The prize for a successful tank would be astronomical. Will the Jazz do it?