The most prominent topic on the NBA rumor mill this Friday was that Lauri Markkanen might be available for trade. The rumor came from an article by Yahoo Sports reporter Jake Fischer. Fischer said, “Utah has indeed left opposing executives with the sense that Markkanen is no longer untouchable in trade conversations.” Fischer’s report also noted that “The Jazz are by no means expected to trade” Markkanen and called him a “fascinating albeit unlikely trade candidate.” Those reality checks, as always, didn’t get as widely aggregated as the flashy headline. The public discourse became a silly idea that Markkanen was on the trade block.
Newsflash: he’s not.
The day before Fischer’s report, The Salt Lake Tribune’s Andy Larsen released a detailed report on Utah’s trade prospects. Larsen’s reporting clearly stated that Markkanen is not on the trade block.
In the minds of Jazz leadership, multiple players have clearly established themselves as ones they want to keep building around moving forward.
At the top of that list is Lauri Markkanen, the 26-year-old Finnish All-Star.
Jazz leaders love Markkanen, and think he can be a centerpiece of the next contending Jazz team. They also feel confident that they’ll be able to retain him after his contract ends in the summer of 2025, either through an extension or a new free agent deal.
Do these two reports contradict one another? No, they do not. The Jazz beat writers spent the day addressing Jazz fans on Twitter, and they all had the same message. Markkanen is not on the trade block. The team answering calls about him does not mean he is available.
I also don’t really see Jake’s report as conflicting with mine… Jazz definitely want to keep Markkanen, but if you bowl them over with a Gobert offer… well, yeah.— Andy Larsen (@andyblarsen) December 15, 2023
Also, Jake is a good dude… we talked about his upcoming report last night. I think we’re on the same page. https://t.co/q7afz8AJ8H
Andy Larsen said that he and Jake Fischer had spoken about Fischer’s reporting before it was published and that they were in agreement.
Sarah Todd of Deseret News said, “There is a huge gap between ‘the Jazz will entertain listening to offers’ and the idea that ‘the Jazz are looking to trade’ someone.” She continued to say that Lauri’s supposed availability is no different today than it was before. She firmly stated, “The Jazz are not looking to trade Lauri.”
lol you guys…— Sarah Todd (@NBASarah) December 16, 2023
The Jazz are not looking to trade Lauri.
If someone calls and blows their pants off with a Gobert type haul, they will obviously listen. That’s not different than it was yesterday or many days before. https://t.co/eJ2CUz0dBk
Tony Jones of The Athletic tweeted many things about the rumors, including this response stating that his sources have given him no evidence of Markkanen being available.
I don’t have any evidence from anyone that I talk to that Lauri is realistically available https://t.co/2VatDDzxN9— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) December 15, 2023
These are the people most plugged into the Utah Jazz players and front office. They speak with team personnel daily. Fischer reported that he had heard from rival executives that the Jazz seemed willing to pick up the phone. The Jazz beat writers all collectively agree that the Jazz will always pick up the phone and hear out any trade offer. That doesn’t mean they’re trying to trade their young star.
In other words, Lauri Markkanen is not available for any realistic trades. If a team tosses five first-round picks out as an offer, maybe he could be gettable, but nobody will offer that. Markkanen is not untouchable, he’s just damn expensive.
Don’t worry Jazz fans; the Finnisher will not be dealt. He’s a centerpiece for the future of the team.