Trade Proposal Sends Lauri Markkanen to Rockets in Exchange For Young Talents, Picks

According to Bleacher Report writer Zach Buckley, the Houston Rockets are ready to enter phase 3 of their reconstruction by making a blockbuster trade for an All-Star floor-spacer to join emerging center Alperen Şengün.

The Rockets begin their summer by focusing on mending the vulnerabilities that kept them out of the playoffs this season.

Despite missing the postseason for the third consecutive year, the Rockets are expected to compete for a playoff place next season, especially if their front staff makes the correct moves this summer.

According to ESPN NBA analyst Tim McMahon, league sources have advised him that the Rockets will not hesitate to make a huge move for a superstar player this offseason.

McMahon added that the Rockets will aim for the playoffs next season, and that getting a big-name star through trade would complete the post-James Harden reconstruction.

“When you talk about vultures circling, some of them are wearing Rockets gear because they want to take a big swing in the trade market sooner or later,” Tim McMahon said on the Hoop Collective Podcast on March 30.

Lauri Markkanen and Rockets Trade Proposal

Alperen Şengün, performansıyla göz kamaştırdı! - Haber 7 Basketbol
Buckley highlighted five “no-brainer” moves in his latest Bleacher Report article; one of these trade options involves the Rockets making a move for Utah Jazz All-Star forward Lauri Markkanen.

The B/R writer believes the Rockets should explore exploring a trade for Markkanen unless a franchise player such as Joel Embiid or Luka Doncic becomes available on the trade market.

“Unless a premature playoff exit convinces a megastar like Joel Embiid or Luka Dončić to demand a scenery change, there may not be anyone worth the sacrifice of Şengün or Green this summer.” Buckley wrote in his b/r essay, published on April 12.

There could, however, be a next-tier star worth several of Houston’s next-best trade assets.

Buckley said that the Jazz may be inclined to trade their All-Star center since general manager Danny Ainge is reportedly unwilling to commit to him on a long-term contract, with the current Jazz squad insufficient to compete for a playoff spot.

Aside from Şengün and Green, the Rockets have a variety of fascinating young players to consider in any trade package.
Buckley stated that a package that included draft picks for at least one of Jabari Smith Jr., Tari Eason, or Cam Whitmore, as well as Dillion Brook’s contract to match salaries, might help the Rockets secure Markkanen.

Markkanen is coming off another productive season with the Jazz, averaging 23.2 points on 48.0 percent shooting, 8.2 rebounds, and 2.0 assists. According to ESPN, the Finnish big man is seen as an ideal floor-spacer due to his career 38.3 3-point shooting percentage.

Alperen Sengun avoids major injury - Eurohoops

According to Buckley, a starting lineup of Markkanen, Sengün, Green, and VanVleet may propel the Rockets into title contention in the coming years.

Ime Udoka believes that Sengün and Green can coexist.
Ime Udoka disputed the notion that Green and Sengün cannot play efficient basketball together.

The Rockets’ head coach stated that Green’s heightened output in the closing weeks of the regular season was unrelated to Sengün’s absence due to a knee ailment.

“We wanted to really increase the pace and get the threes up, and those things don’t have anything to do with Alpi,” Udoka stated on the Matt Thomas Show podcast on March 29. “When Jalen was struggling earlier in the year he had the same quality looks and Jalen started to read the game better – I think they can complement each other very well.”

Ime Udoka on why Alperen Sengun’s absence is not the cause of Jalen Green’s resurgence:

“We wanted to increase the pace and get the threes up, which had nothing to do with Alpi. Even when Jalen struggled earlier in the year, he still had the same quality…”
After failing to earn a spot early in the season, Green elevated his game following Sengun’s injury and produced one of the best individual runs of the season.

In March, he averaged 27.7 points and a 49.2 FG%, virtually securing the Rockets’ play-in position after leading them to a season-high 11-game winning run.

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