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#pounditWednesday, July 17, 2024

The Lakers’ top offseason target revealed?

The logo of the Los Angeles Lakers

If the Utah Jazz and Danny Ainge look to move star Lauri Markkanen this offseason, at least one NBA general manager believes the Los Angeles Lakers will come calling.

In fact, the GM says, Markkanen would be considered a “dream target” for the Lakers but they wouldn’t be alone in a potential pursuit.

“There are a few teams that, when you look at it, he is going to be their dream target,” the GM told Heavy.com. “The Lakers, you get a guy like him with Anthony Davis, and that’s perfect for both guys. The Knicks would love to get hold of him. The Heat, again, put him with Bam (Adebayo) and that is the pair you want to build around, you can send Jimmy (Butler) wherever he wants.

“Just the floor-spacing aspect of it, it’s so valuable. He could make things easier on your stars.”

The Jazz, assuming they don’t decide to extend Markkanen, are expected to drive a hard bargain. That could be problematic for the Lakers since they won’t have a first-round pick to trade until 2029 following this year’s draft. They could offer other future picks and a role players or two, but that may not be enough if a bidding war develops.

“The problem for the Lakers, the best offer is going to be Rui (Hachimura) and Austin Reaves and two first-rounders, let’s say. Well, if I am Oklahoma City, I can beat that. If I am Houston, I can beat that. The Warriors can beat it—it’s a long list,” the GM said.

“So the only way that happens is maybe other teams get worried about his injury history and the Lakers are sitting there with the best offer. If Utah knows they’re not gonna extend him, you’d have to consider it. I do think they extend him, but still, you’ve got to consider it.”

Even with some obstacles in the way, expect the Lakers to actively engage the Jazz should Markkanen become available.

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