The Golden State Warriors search for a second star could be about to heat up, with reports arguably their most ideal trade target may be no longer be untouchable before the February 8 deadline.
The Warriors got a much-needed win over the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday, but only after 16 fourth-quarter points from Stephen Curry helped prevent a second-half meltdown.
Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen may be available for the Golden State Warriors and rival teams before the trade deadline
Golden State's need for a secondary scorer remains, as does their need for further size and depth in the frontcourt. With the deadline approaching and the likelihood of a trade only increasing, the Warriors' ideal answer may be more realistic.
Earlier in the month Blue Man Hoop outlined why Lauri Markkanen is the ideal Golden State trade target -- not just because of his fit as an immensely skilled seven-footer, but because of his incredibly team-friendly contract.
At that point, Markkanen had only been speculated in trade proposals by high-profile analysts. Now, it appears the Utah Jazz may make the seventh-year forward genuinely gettable over the next 6-7 weeks.
In a recent report looking at the big-name trade candidates ahead of the deadline, Yahoo Sports' Jake Fischer revealed Utah have shifted their approach on the NBA's Most Improved player from last season.
""I spoke to multiple general managers who told me that when they called the Jazz, the Jazz are no longer saying that Markkanen is untouchable, which is a pretty significant change from a year ago," Fischer said."
Just because Markkanen may now be obtainable, doesn't mean that long-time executive Danny Ainge isn't going to ask for a huge return. In a recent article, FanSided's Josh Cornelissen graded a trade that would see the Warriors offer/give up all their young talent -- Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Brandin Podziemski and Trayce Jackson-Davis -- along with Corey Joseph and two future first-round picks in exchange for Markkanen.
That's the sort of package it's going to take to acquire a player of Markannen's talent. The Finnish forward is averaging 23.4 points and 8.4 rebounds this season, shooting 48.9% from the floor and 39% from three-point range.
Regardless of Golden State's potential interest, Markkanen shapes as one of the biggest trade pieces before the deadline as contending teams seek to improve their championship credentials.