5 Lauri Markkanen trades that the Jazz cannot refuse

Utah Jazz, Lauri Markkanen
Utah Jazz, Lauri Markkanen / Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Jazz convince Kings to go all-in on Lauri Markkanen

Sacramento is not afraid to make a blockbuster deal. They traded Tyrese Haliburton to Indiana to get Domantas Sabonis. The swap has worked for both sides, but the Kings need another deal if they plan on becoming title contenders. Sacramento might look for a third star, and Markkanen could be the best player available.

The Kings would have to give up Harrison Barnes to match salary plus draft picks. Danny Ainge notoriously drives a difficult bargain in trades. Can he convince Sacramento that Markkanen is worth three first-round picks? It is the Kings' path to winning the bidding war, but a hefty price to pay.

Markkanen to Kings

Sacramento is up to fourth in the Western Conference, but they are just 2.5 games up on tenth and 4.5 clear of the Warriors, who sit 11th. The Kings need another piece to separate themselves. Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets are still the favorites to win the West, but the race is wide open. The Timberwolves and Thunder are young and hungry teams with plenty of others chasing.

Utah can use that need to its advantage in the bidding war for Lauri Markkanen. If the Sacramento Kings offer three first-round draft picks, the Thunder may be willing to dip into their war chest to win the bidding.