A Jazz rival reportedly has Lauri Markkanen as their 'dream target,' but could it work?

Heavy Sports' Sean Deveney says the Lakers want Lauri Markkanen. While the Jazz could use more assets, would they really want to help the Lakers?
San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz
San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

After being good enough to stay out of the Western Conference cellar but bad enough to miss the play-in, the Utah Jazz have some decisions to make. Especially with Lauri Markkanen. He's proved himself as a potential cornerstone of what could be a glorious future, but that depends on if the Jazz see it that way.

All indications are that they do. Markkanen has not only evolved into a star, but he's also been paid much less than what he's worth. Of course, that won't be the case when his contract is up in 2025, to which the Jazz have to decide once and for all where they're going.

Apparently, the Lakers may inquire about his services on the off-chance that the Jazz decide to part ways with Markkanen. So much so that Heavy Sports' Sean Deveney revealed that they see him as their "dream target."

An NBA GM told Deveney that the Lakers acquiring Markkanen was their “dream scenario.” Furthermore, when it comes to Markkanen's potential fit with other teams like the Lakers, the GM told Deveney that “there are a few teams that, when you look at it, he is going to be their dream target... The Lakers, you get a guy like him with Anthony Davis, and that’s perfect for both guys."

Wait, why would the Jazz help the Lakers?

The Jazz may be at a crossroads for where they plan to go next, but helping the Lakers when they make that decision doesn't seem like something they would do.

To be fair, they've done it before. Remember when they bailed the Lakers out of the Russell Westbrook fiasco? Now, that was a smart deal on the Jazz' end because they got what will likely be a solid draft asset out of it years down the line. The Lakers have a lot of questions about their future when the LeBron James era ends.

However, at the time, they traded Mike Conley and Jarred Vanderbilt, both of whom were meant to solidify their new teams as they went on a playoff run in . Trading Markkanen to the Lakers would be a little different in this context.

First of all, Markkanen is just about to enter his prime. Knowing the uncertainty the Lakers are about to face, the Finnish forward gives them a semblance of hope for their future. Would the Jazz really do that, especially knowing the Lakers draft asset they have in their arsenal?

This is also something the GM brought up to Deveney when talking about the prospect of the Lakers trading for Markkanen.

“The problem for the Lakers, the best offer is going to be Rui (Hachimura) and Austin Reaves and two first-rounders, let’s say. Well, if I am Oklahoma City, I can beat that. If I am Houston, I can beat that. The Warriors can beat it—it’s a long list,” the GM said.

The GM outlined the one way in which Markkanen could find himself on the Lakers.

“So the only way that happens is maybe other teams get worried about his injury history and the Lakers are sitting there with the best offer. If Utah knows they’re not gonna extend him, you’d have to consider it. I do think they extend him, but still, you’ve got to consider it.”

The Jazz will have plenty of options this offseason. They could pursue Markkanen's former teammate Zach LaVine or maybe even try their hand at Trae Young. If a Markkanen trade to the Lakers were to happen, indications are that it would have to be because the Jazz ran out of all their other options first.