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#pounditSunday, January 16, 2022

Could Mavs pull off sign-and-trade for Lauri Markkanen?

Lauri Markkanen

Lauri Markkanen’s future continues to hang in limbo, but a viable destination may now be emerging for him.

Tim Cato of The Athletic reported Monday that the Dallas Mavericks could pull off a sign-and-trade deal for the Chicago Bulls big man. Cato also notes that the Bulls are interested in Mavs forward Maxi Kleber.

The 24-year-old Markkanen remains unsigned as a restricted free agent. The Bulls extended him a one-year, $9 million qualifying offer, but Markkanen said publicly earlier this month that he wants “a fresh start” elsewhere.

Markkanen posted career-lows across the board last season with the Bulls, averaging 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds in 25.8 minutes per game. He can still be a very productive player in the right situation. But Markkanen has some skillset overlap with another jump-shooting seven-footer that the Mavs already have in Kristaps Porzingis.

Still, the interest certainly seems to be there on Markkanen’s end. The ex-lottery pick has reportedly been hoping in private to land with Dallas.

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