Warriors reportedly pivot to in-demand 7-foot All-Star after missing on Paul George

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

After missing out in their aggressive pursuit of two-way forward Paul George, the Golden State Warriors are reportedly interested in arguably the most in-demand option emerging on the trade market.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski on Monday, the Warriors have pivoted to 2023 All-Star Lauri Markkanen with the Utah Jazz forward appearing growingly gettable this offseason.

The Golden State Warriors could flip the fortunes of their offseason by trading for seven-foot forward Lauri Markkanen

After emerging as a star and the league's Most Improved player in 2023, Markkanen has been one of the league's most coveted players given his incredibly team-friendly contract where he'll make $18 million next season.

The Jazz could look to cash in on Markkanen now before needing to sign him to a $200+ million deal, though it will assuredly take an almighty offer to sway the mind of Danny Ainge.

"A lot of the teams who lost out on Mikal Bridges from Brooklyn have transferred over, trying to see if they can land Lauri Markkanen out of Utah, Golden State is one of those teams."

Adrian Wojnarowski

Markkanen's salary does make things realistic from a financial standpoint, yet it would certainly take a boatload of young players and future picks that's likely to be headlined by rising forward Jonathan Kuminga.

Golden State's only realistic path to Markkanen is to give up Kuminga, with a number of other suitors likely to present strong offers to the Jazz. There's been conflicting reports on whether the 21-year-old was part of the conversations had between the Warriors and Clippers regarding George.

Markkanen averaged 23.2 points, 8.2 rebounds and 2.0 assists last season, shooting 48% from the floor on 39.9% from three-point range on eight attempts per game. His floor spacing in the front court may be a near-perfect complement to Draymond Green, his shooting in general is desperately needed after losing veteran Klay Thompson, and he'd be an ideal secondary offensive star for two-time MVP Stephen Curry.

The 27-year-old is also young enough to try and rejuvenate Golden State's playoff window for an extended period, and lessens the risk of a massive contract extension that they were prepared to offer a 34-year-old George.

If the Warriors can land Markkanen it could drastically alter the currently pessimistic outlook on their offseason, particularly if they can do the seemingly impossible and keep Kuminga out of the deal.