NBA rumors: Austin Reaves and Lauri Markannen would be…

NBA rumors: Austin Reaves and Lauri Markannen would be traded by the Lakers.
The Los Angeles Lakers would be willing to trade Austin Reaves for an All-Star-caliber player like Lauri Markkanen.

The Los Angeles Lakers have been linked to various players as we come closer to the February 8 trade deadline. They have resisted including Austin Reaves in any deals. That could change, according to Lakers insider Jovan Buha, who claims the Lakers would be willing to part with Reaves for an All-Star caliber player like Lauri Markkanen.

“There are players the Lakers would include him in deals to acquire. If they could add a bona fide third star to complement James and Davis – Utah All-Star Lauri Markannen, for example – or multiple high-level starters in a bigger trade, they would consider moving Reaves.”

Inside Lauri Markkanen's incredible journey from Finland to Chicago |

The Lakers have widely been expected to chase players like Dejounte Murray with packages featured around future draft picks and D’Angelo Russell. The Lakers protected Reaves in trade talks with the Chicago Bulls when they were interested in Zach LaVine and have refused to part with Reaves for Murray as well.

Reaves is averaging 14.9 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 5.2 assists this season, not having the same positive impact he had last season. But even this level of production is solid for a player making an average of $13.4 million per season for the next four years.

His fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, along with the team-friendly contract has made him untouchable in most deals for the Lakers, but a Markkanen deal could change everything.

How Would Lauri Markkanen Fit On The Lakers?

Lauri Markkanen has been playing as one of the best forwards in the NBA since being traded to the Utah Jazz last season. He was an All-Star last year and is in contention to be named a reserve this year as well after helping the Jazz overcome a slow start to the season. They’re tied with the Lakers with a 24-24 record for the No. 9 seed. Due to the Jazz being in the playoff hunt, it won’t be easy to pry Lauri away from Utah.

The Jazz likely won’t move on from Markkanen this season. He’s averaging 23.7 points and 8.8 rebounds while making $17.2 million. He is on one of the best contracts in the NBA for a star, something that’s of high value in the NBA with the new salary cap rules. While Markkanen will be up for a contract by the end of the 2025 season, getting him alongside LeBron and AD could be a game-changing move for the Lakers.

Unfortunately, I don’t think acquiring Markkanen alone would transform the Lakers into championship contenders. The loss of Reaves would further expose the poor guard play the Lakers have struggled with this season. D’Angelo Russell is in great form right now but could easily enter a cold spell again.

For the Jazz, accepting a Markkanen offer centered around Reaves would only be acceptable if the Lakers offered their 2029 first-round pick unprotected along with pick swaps in 2028 and 2030. In addition, they may even demand a young talent like Max Christie from the Lakers, which could handicap the team’s future if it doesn’t work out.

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