Warriors Trade Pitch Nets Team $67.5 Million All-Star to Pair With Curry

Steve Kerr, Warriors

Getty Golden State Warriors head coach Steve Kerr.

The Golden State Warriors must reimagine the roster if they want to climb back into serious contention amid a youthful and highly competitive Western Conference.

That could mean parting ways with future Hall of Famer Klay Thompson, and it almost certainly means saying goodbye to backup point guard Chris Paul. But getting off of all that money is just the start, as the Dubs must also add some pieces to complement Steph Curry and Draymond Green into the twilight of their careers.

Dan Favale of Bleacher Report authored a trade pitch on Monday, May 27, that would land Golden State Lauri Markkanen from the Utah Jazz.

A package built around some combination of Jonathan Kuminga, Brandin Podziemski, Moses Moody, multiple first-round picks and salary-matching fodder has the bones of a real offer. Will the Warriors be open to putting an ultra-aggressive bid for Markkanen, or anyone else, on the table? That’s a better question.

Few singular acquisitions can propel the Dubs back to dynastic heights. Markkanen isn’t one of them. But he’s a more palatable option than older stars — such as Kevin Durant or Paul George — who increase Golden State’s immediate title chances at the gargantuan expense of the future.

Markkanen just turned 27 in May. He most likely won’t be the face of a post-Stephen Curry Warriors squad. But he is young and talented enough to be a core member of it.

Lauri Markkanen Has Become NBA Star Over Past 2 Seasons

Lauri Markkanen, Golden State Warriors, Steph Curry

GettyLauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz drives the basketball against Brandin Podziemski of the Golden State Warriors during an NBA game.

Markkanen has experienced a unique career arc that saw him languish with the Chicago Bulls for four seasons and struggle through a tough fit with the Cleveland Cavaliers in year 5.

But a new world of offense opened up for Markkanen when he got to Utah in 2022. The 7-footer with 3-point range finished that campaign with a career-high 25.6 points per game to go along with 8.6 rebound and 1.9 assists, according to Basketball Reference.

Markkanen followed up his All-Star season in 2022-23 with another solid effort the following year, putting up 23.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2 assists. He’s also an efficient shooter, knocking down north of 39% of his 3-point attempts in each of the past two seasons.

The Jazz have built Markkanen into the type of player who can bring back a significant return in trade. The question is whether he’s worth it to the Warriors.

“Golden State will still need to futz and fiddle on the margins, grapple with Klay Thompson’s free agency and decide whether it’s willing to remain a taxpayer,” Favale wrote. “But if the Dubs are hell-bent on making the most of Curry’s megastar window, Markkanen’s prospective fit, both now and later, should appeal to them.”

Warriors Must Envision Lauri Markkanen as Long-Term Piece for Trade to Make Sense

Warriors potential trade target Lauri Markkanen

GettyLauri Markkanen of the Utah Jazz goes up for a dunk against Jonathan Kuminga of the Golden State Warriors during an NBA game.

Cost will be a concern, as Markkanen will play the final year of his $67.5 million contract in 2024-25 before hitting unrestricted free agency.

His new deal is liable to be considerably pricier after his uptick in play since joining the Jazz, coupled with the fact that he remains three years shy of 30 and has a lot of runway ahead of him in his NBA career.

A deal in which Golden State sacrifices young talent on rookie contracts, and future picks that offer the same advantage, wouldn’t make sense for the Warriors unless the team intends to pay Markkanen and keep him in the Bay Area long term.

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