Should the Jazz 'save' the Warriors with a Lauri Markkanen trade?

The Warriors are one of the teams reportedly interested in Lauri Markkanen. Should the Jazz help the Warriors salvage what's left of their fallen empire?
Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz
Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz have not indicated that they are selling off Lauri Markkanen. However, that hasn't stopped teams from inquiring about his availability. ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski revealed that multiple teams, including the Warriors, have asked about him.

"A lot of the teams who lost out on Mikal Bridges from Brooklyn have transferred over, trying to see if they can land Lauri Markkanen out of Utah. Golden State is one of those teams.”

Adding more fuel to the fire, Yahoo Sports! Jake Fischer also confirmed Golden State's interest in Markkanen in a July 1 story. And if that's not enough, the Jazz are listening to calls.

"Golden State now remains one of the few teams most connected to a pursuit of acquiring Markkanen from Utah, according to league personnel," Fischer wrote. "The Jazz are indeed welcoming calls on Markkanen, league sources told Yahoo Sports."

In situations like these, the Jazz's insurmountable advantage can be summarized in one word: "desperation." You know who's desperate right now? The Warriors.

Currently, the Warriors have all the makings of a fallen empire. Their quest for Paul George failed. Klay Thompson's bolting for the Mavericks. They got nothing for Chris Paul. With each passing day, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green inch closer and closer to their expiration dates.

It's like they say, "What goes up must come down," but knowing their interest in Markkanen, it sounds like the Warriors aren't ready to come down just yet.

Their interest in Markkanen is pretty easy to pick up on. Sure, he's an All-Star level talent who would give them plenty of badly-needed versatility, but more than that, he's got a cheap contract at $18 million for next season.

When given the chance, the Warriors passed on adding Zach LaVine and D'Angelo Russell. That's because, despite their talent, the Warriors didn't want to add additional payroll to what they have now to maintain flexibility. They can afford to acquire Markkanen, arguably a better player, without losing any of their current flexibility.

This is where the Jazz can use this to their advantage. The Warriors want to stay relevant without having to pay top dollar to do it. Without Markkanen, there are serious current doubts that they will even make the play-in with their current core.

The Warriors didn't show up among the teams who Dan Lower mentioned as having a "great offer" for Markkanen. It's because they don't. They have some promising young talent with Jonathan Kuminga, Brandon Podziemski, and Moses Moody, but none of those players scream future franchise player

So while combining those contracts can make a trade for Markkanen work, the Warriors' best assets are their picks. The Warriors have been excellent at keeping their draft assets in their arsenal. If they truly want Markkanen, and the Jazz are down for a trade for the right price, they can milk the Warriors for the draft assets they want with little protections.

So to answer the question, if the Warriors pay a good price for Markkanen, it would be worth helping them salvage what's left of their title window as long as they give up what could potentially be golden first-round picks down the line when Curry and Draymond inevitably retire from the game.