5 Stars Kings could chase before the trade deadline

The Kings need reinforcements before the trade deadline to become true title contenders.

Sacramento Kings, Pascal Siakam
Sacramento Kings, Pascal Siakam / John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
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3. Lauri Markkanen

If the Kings decide to chase a forward, Markkanen could be a fantastic fit. He broke out after arriving on the rebuilding Jazz in the 2022 offseason. Markkanen was a plus-shooter but became an elite scorer and All-Star in Salt Lake City. He was the Most Improved Player in 2023 and is backing it up this season.

Utah is in year two of their rebuild, and there have been some rumblings about trading Markkanen. The 26-year-old is in his prime but likely beceoms a free agent before the Jazz are ready to contend. The franchise is likely at least three years from making a playoff push, and Markkanen will hit the open market in the summer of 2025. If the Jazz think he wants out, they could move him before this year's deadline to maximize his value.

Getting another seven-footer who can shoot over 37 percent from 3-point range and flat-out get buckets would be appealing. The Kings would have to worry about their defense, but Markkanen has size and gets rebounds. They would have to hide him a bit, but adding the All-Star forward would help Sacramento outscore the opposition.

Lauri Markkanen is making just $17.2 million this season, which makes matching his salary a bit easier. The Sacramento Kings could have a new All-Star forward before the Feb. 8 trade deadline, but it will cost a hefty price to convince the Jazz to give him up. Utah trading Markkanen is no sure bet, but it never hurts to try.