The Utah Jazz are unlikely to trade Lauri Markkanen despite the team's struggles

It seems like the Utah Jazz are still in on Lauri Markkanen.

Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers
Utah Jazz v Los Angeles Lakers / Kevork Djansezian/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz are going to be without Lauri Markkanen for at least another week as he nurses a calf strain. The injury has kept him out of the last few games and while the Jazz have won more than they lost in his absence, the team can't afford to go too long without him, not if they hope to turn their season around.

And if they don't, trades will be made. Collin Sexton, Jordan Clarkson, Talen Horton-Tucker and Kelly Olynyk are all players the Jazz are looking at moving should things not get better, and for obvious reasons. The Jazz aren't sold on Sexton, who like Horton-Tucker and Olynyk have an expiring contract. Clarkson, on the other hand, is just not in the team's current timeline. He could easily be dealt even if the team is in a better place, as he's holding the Jazz back.

But, even if the team is struggling, the one player that isn't likely to be moved is in fact Markkanen, the 2023 All-Star and Most Improved Player. He'll only be 27 years old at the end of the season and well into his prime as a player. So if he can come back this year, and play as well for the rest of the year as he had been before his injury, he'll likely net himself a nice contract extension.

Sports Illustrated is the one who reported that he may not be traded.

The Jazz need to keep Markkanen on their roster going forward as they look to rebuild their team following the trades of Bojan Bogdanovic, Rudy Gobert, and Donovan Mitchell. Markkanen looks to be a real All-Star caliber player and can be a very versatile player for the club for years to come. And if the Jazz can just land him a reliable second option, then the team may be able to get back into the playoff race sooner rather than later.

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