Rival GM identifies 'dream' Heat trade target -- and they're right

San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz
San Antonio Spurs v Utah Jazz / Alex Goodlett/GettyImages

With Lauri Markkanen heading into the final year of his contract, the Utah Jazz are expected to get plenty of phone calls about the former All-Star forward who would be a “dream scenario” for teams like the Miami Heat, according to a recent report.

Because of his spacing, size and age, Markkanen is an ideal fit for several contenders and teams looking to pair elite big men with shooters.

“There are a few teams that, when you look at it, he is going to be their dream target,” one NBA general manager told Heavy.com. “The Lakers, you get a guy like him with Anthony Davis, and that’s perfect for both guys. The Knicks would love to get hold of him. The Heat, again, put him with Bam (Adebayo) and that is the pair you want to build around, you can send Jimmy (Butler) wherever he wants.”

Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen would be a perfect fit next to Bam Adebayo in the Heat's frontcourt, but he could be out of Miami's price range.

Markkanen, 27, is in the final year of his contract and is eligible for an extension that could be him upwards of four years, $200 million. After being named an All-Star in 2023, Markkanen averaged 23.2 points and 8.2 rebounds last season while shooting 40% from 3-point range last season.

The 7-footer would be an ideal fit next to Bam Adebayo in the Heat’s frontcourt.

Jazz president Danny Ainge has a reputation for listening to all trade offers, but he also demands a lot in return for his players.

The Heat can offer up to three first-round picks in a trade beginning on draft night and have the contracts of Tyler Herro, Terry Rozier or Duncan Robinson that can be used to match salary, in addition to promising young players in Jaime Jaquez Jr. and Nikola Jovic who could fit Utah’s timeline.

But the market for Markkanen would be wide and the Heat could have a hard time competing with rival offers from teams like the Oklahoma City Thunder and San Antonio Spurs that are flush with draft capital.

Even if the Heat were to make everything available, they could still get beaten out by other teams. There’s little doubt that Markkanen would be a dream fit next to Adebayo, but it could be tough to make that dream a reality.