Uninspiring alternatives suggests Warriors right to play waiting game with Jazz

Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz
Golden State Warriors v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

After a sense of anticipation nearly a week ago, things appear to have gone stale on the Lauri Markkanen front for the Golden State Warriors. That's not because they're out of the running for the Utah Jazz forward, but because they're happy to be patient in the hope of acquiring their desired trade target.

According to The Athletic's Anthony Slater on Tuesday, the Warriors are willing to wait until August 6 where further clarity will be provided on what the Jazz truly wish to do with their 2023 All-Star.

The Golden State Warriors appear happy to play the waiting game in their trade pursuit of 2023 All-Star Lauri Markkanen

Markkanen becomes extension eligible on August 6, which if forthcoming would ensure he couldn't be traded for exactly six months -- coinciding with the final day of the mid-season trade deadline.

Slater points out that the Sacramento Kings had a substantial offer on the table for Markkanen, yet put a deadline on it before turning their attention to DeMar DeRozan whom they acquired in a sign-and-trade over the weekend. No such deadline is in place for the Warriors.

That's the right approach to take. Not only is Markkanen worth being patient on, but because the alternatives are so far less appealing. If it's not the Finnish forward, who's next on the Golden State radar?

Brandon Ingram is the other big name on the market, but his methodical, mid-range scoring offense wouldn't bode overly well in the Warrior system. The former All-Star infamously had a rough period at the World Cup playing under Steve Kerr last year, to the point of publicly voicing his frustration at a lack of playing time. Combine that with a looming contract extension that could be upwards of $200 million, and you have a less-than-ideal target from a Golden State perspective.

Zach LaVine's blend of athleticism and three-point shooting may be a better on-court fit, but his recent injury history combined with an exorbitant contract makes him a tough trade candidate. After waiving Chris Paul, the Warriors would be left with Andrew Wiggins as the main salary-matching piece for LaVine. Given the Canadian's importance defensively, it's difficult to see the front office doing a 1-for-1 swap, let alone the other $17 million the Warriors would have to include in player salaries.

Perhaps Golden State could talk them into Kyle Kuzma whose descending contract appears quite team-friendly over the next three seasons. Where would you actually be going with Kuzma as your second offensive option though, particularly when it may also interfere with the development of Jonathan Kuminga?

These names aren't inspiring and showcase exactly why the Warriors are correct in their current approach. Failing Markkanen, history would suggest another desirable trade target will be on offer from somewhere in the next 12 months, suggesting Golden State don't need to make a panic move for Ingram, LaVine or Kuzma.