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Report: Utah Jazz Open to Commerce Talks; Lauri Markkanen, Walker Kessler Off Limits

Report: Utah Jazz Open to Commerce Talks; Lauri Markkanen, Walker Kessler Off Limits

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIJanuary 21, 2023

Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen (23) celebrates after making a 3-pointer against the Los Angeles Clippers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2023, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

AP Picture/Rick Bowmer

The Utah Jazz could also be inquisitive about listening to commerce pitches on any participant exterior Lauri Markkanen and Walker Kessler, per longtime NBA reporter Marc Stein.

“With lower than three weeks to go earlier than the commerce deadline, groups considered clear-cut sellers on the deadline stay in brief provide,” Stein wrote.

“But there’s a rising perception leaguewide that Utah is open to listening to commerce pitches for anybody on the roster not named Lauri Markkanen or Walker Kessler.”

Utah entered this season in full rebuilding mode after buying and selling All-Stars Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert and dealing beginning wing Bojan Bogdanović as nicely.

The Jazz additionally started the 12 months below new management with Danny Ainge because the basketball operations chief and Will Hardy teaching the group.

The Jazz understandably started the 12 months with low expectations, however they now sit eighth within the Western Convention with a 24-25 document. They’re simply two video games behind the Dallas Mavericks for fifth in what’s turned out to be a good league this 12 months.

It is clear to see why Markkanen, who’s in Utah after the Cleveland Cavaliers acquired Mitchell from the Jazz in a blockbuster commerce, is off-limits.

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The 25-year-old has emerged as a possible All-Star and a Most Improved Participant of the Yr candidate because of averaging 24.8 factors on 52.0 % taking pictures and eight.7 rebounds.

The identical goes for Kessler, a rookie large man who landed with the Jazz after the Gobert commerce with the Minnesota Timberwolves. With elevated enjoying time, Kessler has dominated over his final seven video games with 11.3 factors, 11.6 rebounds and three.0 blocks in 28.1 minutes per sport, in accordance with Basketball Reference.

These two determine to be long-term items for a rebuilding Jazz group, which is managing to rebuild and compete on the identical time. A treasure trove of future draft picks portend a vivid future for the group, particularly with the group already adequate to compete for playoff positioning proper now thanks largely to Markkanen and Kessler.

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