Potential Lauri Markkanen Trades For Warriors To Sustain Championship Aspirations


Klay Thompson, after 13 years with the Golden State Warriors, has moved on in free agency—a reality many thought unimaginable. With Thompson’s departure, General Manager Mike Dunleavy Jr. and the Warriors front office are now poised to aggressively bolster the team as Stephen Curry and Draymond Green near the twilight of their NBA careers. Amidst ongoing free agency moves and trade talks heating up, Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen has emerged as a pivotal figure in discussions.

Specifically, Markkanen has become a central figure in trade discussions involving the Warriors. This marks a departure from the past few years where the team focused on financial flexibility and reducing payroll, facilitated by departures like Thompson’s and Chris Paul’s.

Now, the Warriors face a critical decision regarding their ability to contend for another championship. Despite Thompson’s absence, Curry and Green remain formidable forces, complemented by new additions like De’Anthony Melton and Kyle Anderson. Furthermore, a potential sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers could bring sharpshooter Buddy Hield to the Bay Area, forming a dynamic tandem with Curry—perhaps earning them the moniker “Splash Buddies.”

However, amidst these moves, there’s cautious optimism among Warriors fans, especially in light of Thompson’s departure. While the additions of Melton, Anderson, and possibly Hield strengthen the roster, there remains an opportunity for the Warriors to acquire another cornerstone player for the future.

Enter Lauri Markkanen. Although the Utah Jazz haven’t actively shopped him, their approach has been unexpectedly quiet this offseason despite drafting promising talents. While not actively shopping Markkanen, Jazz executive Danny Ainge remains open to hearing compelling offers.

For the Warriors, the path to acquiring Markkanen won’t be easy or cheap, especially after the high price paid by the Brooklyn Nets for Mikal Bridges. Yet, it’s a path worth exploring, offering Golden State several avenues to pursue the Finnish forward.

Despite missing out on Paul George, the Warriors retain the flexibility to pursue Markkanen aggressively, underscoring their commitment to sustaining championship aspirations.