Lakers to Acquire Jordan Clarkson and Lauri Markkanen?

The Los Angeles Lakers, coming off a first-round exit in the 2024 playoffs against the Denver Nuggets, are in desperate need of upgrades. Specifically, they need to improve their size, shooting, and playmaking to bolster their championship aspirations. A potential trade with the Utah Jazz involving Jordan Clarkson and Lauri Markkanen could address these needs effectively.

The Proposed Trade:

The Lakers would receive:

  • Jordan Clarkson
  • Lauri Markkanen

The Jazz would receive:

This trade works salary-wise, with the Lakers absorbing a $1.1M cap impact and the Jazz shedding $4.1M in cap space.

Why This Trade Makes Sense for the Lakers:

  1. Stretch the Floor with Lauri Markkanen: Lauri Markkanen is a versatile big who can stretch the floor, providing the Lakers with a much-needed outside shooting threat. His ability to play off Anthony Davis would allow for a more dynamic and unpredictable offense.
  2. Defensive Presence: While Markkanen isn’t known for his defense, his length and perimeter defense can be effective with a strong rim protector like Anthony Davis behind him. This combination could create a formidable defensive presence.
  3. Lineup Flexibility: With Markkanen, the Lakers can shift LeBron James to the power forward position and Anthony Davis to center. This allows Markkanen to play as a big three, enhancing the Lakers’ size and shooting in the starting lineup.
  4. Bench Depth with Clarkson: Jordan Clarkson’s return to the Lakers would significantly upgrade their bench scoring. Known for his ability to create his own shot and provide instant offense, Clarkson could thrive as the sixth man, giving the Lakers a reliable scoring option off the bench.
  5. Maintaining Core Players: Retaining Austin Reaves allows the Lakers to keep a promising young player while upgrading their roster. If D’Angelo Russell re-signs, he and Reaves can start in the backcourt, or Reaves and Clarkson could form a dynamic guard duo.

Why the Jazz Would Consider This Trade:

  1. Rebuilding with Assets: The Jazz are looking to rebuild, and acquiring two first-round picks (2024 and 2029) aligns with their strategy. Danny Ainge, known for stockpiling picks, would find this offer appealing as it accelerates the Jazz’s rebuild.
  2. Developing Young Talent: Rui Hachimura, still young, could thrive as a big three in Utah. His potential and the opportunity to develop further make him an attractive piece for the Jazz.
  3. Trade Leverage: The Jazz might require additional assets, such as a third first-round pick or second-round picks, or even former first-round pick Jalen Hood-Schifino, to sweeten the deal. This ensures they maximize their return for Markkanen and Clarkson.

Lakers’ Potential Starting Five and Bench Rotation:

Starting Five:

  • PG: D’Angelo Russell
  • SG: Austin Reaves
  • SF: Lauri Markkanen
  • PF: LeBron James
  • C: Anthony Davis

Bench Rotation:

Additionally, the Lakers would still have their taxpayer MLE to acquire more depth, possibly another big center to further solidify their rotation. Perhaps someone like Jalen Smith could be brought on with the MLE. Additionally, the Lakers could look to resign Taurean Prince to give them another wing who can hit shots and defend.

While simply speculation on our part, adding Jordan Clarkson and Lauri Markkanen would offer a massive upgrade for the Lakers, enhancing their shooting, size, and bench depth, making them a stronger contender for the title. For the Jazz, it provides valuable assets for their rebuilding phase, aligning with their long-term goals. As the offseason progresses, this potential trade scenario could be a win-win for both teams, setting the stage for an exciting 2024-2025 NBA season.

Show 2 Comments


  1. Kevin House

    No way the Jazz do this deal without 3 FRP and JHS. This year’s pick is essentially a second rounder because the draft is so weak. I like it though, I also think they could then flip DLo in a S&T for another big and backup ball handling guard. Austin needs to be the starting PG

    • Tyler

      Agree that it likely takes the 3 FRP. I would really like to keep DLo….his scoring and court vision are underrated and he has great chemistry with Lebron and AD (as well as is good friends with Reaves)

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