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Sacramento Kings were “close” to signing one of the NBA’s most coveted All-Stars this week

Photo credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

After winning 46 and 48 games over the past two seasons but never advancing past the first round of the NBA playoffs, the Sacramento Kings entered the offseason with the goal of making a splash. In fact, during the week of the 2024 NBA Draft, the Kings made a pretty significant move by trading former lottery pick Davion Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers.

At the time, the move was seen as an opportunity to get more playing time for rookie Devin Carter, the 13th pick in the NBA Draft. Others felt that the Mitchell trade was a sign that Kings GM Monte Morris was planning a much bigger move. If so, we haven't seen it yet, as the Kings have been inactive during NBA free agency.

But that's not to say the Kings haven't been actively negotiating trades with other teams. In fact, the Kings were reportedly close to signing an up-and-coming All-Star who has suddenly become one of the most coveted players in basketball.

According to Yahoo Sports NBA insider Jake Fischer, the Kings were “close” to completing a blockbuster trade for Utah Jazz forward Lauri Markkanen last week, but there is still a lot of uncertainty about how willing the Jazz are to part with their franchise cornerstone.

“The Kings, as far as I know, were close to a deal earlier this week. I believe that too, based on the conversations I've had. I can't say more than that, but there have been calls to people in the NBA that indicate there have been legitimate conversations there.”

Jake Fischer on the rumors about the Sacramento Kings and Lauri Markkanen

Of course, the Kings aren't the only team that has tried to negotiate a trade for the 27-year-old striker. Fischer adds that other Western Conference teams like the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs have also inquired about the transfer costs.

Still, Fischer is skeptical that Markkanen will be traded this summer, as the Jazz “are doing their business with a 10 percent chance of trading him.”

Markkanen is entering the final year of his contract and is set to make a very reasonable $18 million this season. If traded, Markkanen is expected to sign a long-term extension with his new team, which is why others will want to get a deal done this summer rather than competing to be the highest bidder during free agency next year.

Related Topics: Sacramento Kings discuss trade for young All-Star scorer