Cooper Flagg is showing why the Jazz should trade Lauri Markkanen immediately

The Jazz need to trade Lauri Markkanen now for a shot at a future star.
Utah Jazz, Cooper Flagg
Utah Jazz, Cooper Flagg / Ethan Miller/GettyImages

The Utah Jazz are currently stuck. They have been rebuilding for two years, but have not selected higher than ninth in the draft. Utah is amassing some young talent but needs a superstar to become a serious title contender. Lauri Markkanen is an All-Star, but the Jazz need a number one option to get back into the playoff picture in the loaded Western Conference.

That isn’t happening as currently constructed. The Jazz are too good to pick at the top of the draft and not good enough to make the playoffs. Utah must select a direction. Tanking means trading Lauri Markkanen to the highest bidder and dumping others like Walker Kessler.

It is no easy decision, but the top prospect in the 2025 NBA Draft is showing why now is the time for Utah to take a step back. The 17-year-old is dominating Team USA camp and could be a top-ten player in the NBA in four years.

Cooper Flagg makes it clear why Jazz should trade Lauri Markkanen

The 2025 draft class is loaded with talent, but Flagg has solidified himself as the top pick. He is making plays on both ends of the floor for the USA Select Team. Team USA is loaded and even the world’s best players are taking notice. Flagg is an elite prospect with superstar potential.

How special is what he is doing? Team USA has not had a college player on the Select Team in a World Cup or Olympic year since 2013. Even those men had NCAA experience. Flagg is 17 and has never even played a college game. It is virtually unheard of, but shows how special the prospect is.

The 6’9 forward is worth tanking for. He could be averaging 20 points per game and guarding multiple positions in the NBA in 2026. If the Jazz trade Markkanen now, they will have a ton of draft capital and an elite talent to build around. Otherwise, their shot at landing Flagg will be minimal and could result in another tenth-overall pick coming to Salt Lake City next June.

The Utah Jazz should go into full rebuild mode for the 2024-25 season. Lose as many games as possible to maximize their odds of landing Cooper Flagg or the other elite prospects in this class. At least five players would have been the top pick in 2204, and the Jazz could get their superstar if they trade Lauri Markkanen now.