Grade the trade pitch: Jazz send Lauri Markkanen to rising West contender

Bleacher Report's Grant Hughes proposed a trade that would make the Jazz embrace a rebuild by trading Markkanen. But is it a good return for them?
Minnesota Timberwolves v Utah Jazz
Minnesota Timberwolves v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages
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It would depend on what picks the Jazz get back

The Thunder have the biggest treasure trove of assets in the entire NBA. Trading someone as valuable as Markkanen to them would definitely lead to pretty nuanced discussions on what picks would come back and what protections would be on them.

Utah would have plenty to choose from Oklahoma City's coterie of draft assets. Some don't hold too much value, like the 76ers' 2025 first-round pick or the Nuggets 2-27 first-round pick. However, other assets, like what the Clippers owe them in 2025, 2026 (pick swap), and 2027.

The odds of the Thunder giving any of those golden goose assets to the Jazz are slim to none. Unless, of course, Markkanen agrees to re-sign there. That would affect what would come back to the Jazz for him.

That's what makes a deal like this all the more thought-provoking. The Thunder may be apprehensive about giving up good assets for a rental, but maybe not so much if they know the star they're getting back will stick around.

Also, the Thunder are no longer in a position where they need to inherit more young talent. Hence, as Hughes alluded, they could stand to shed a few assets if they have the chance to add to what they have. Markkanen definitely adds to it, but it's already been made abundantly clear that he won't come cheaply.