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Jazz was close to completing Lauri Markkanen's contract with the Kings

When it comes to the Utah Jazz this summer, rumors surrounding a Lauri Markkanen trade are all over the place, and all eyes are on a possible deal looming around the former All-Star.

While Utah remains committed to keeping Markkanen on the team long-term, that hasn't stopped other teams from pursuing him. Over the course of the offseason, more teams have seemingly shown interest in the 27-year-old forward, raising the question of whether something significant could be in the works.

And although nothing concrete has emerged yet, it seems as if a deal is almost a reality.

According to Jake Fischer of SportsUtah and the Sacramento Kings were involved in talks with Markkanen, and a deal may have been “close” to being made:

“The Sacramento Kings, as far as I know, were close to a deal earlier this week. Based on the conversations I've had, I believe Utah would prefer to keep Lauri and renegotiate and extend. But they can't do that until August 6th, so why not spend the next month fielding offers? Utah is trading on the assumption that there's a 10 percent chance of trading him away, but you're telling me there's a chance?”

Jake Fischer, Yahoo! Sports

The Kings are looking as a team for another star to play alongside De'Aaron Fox and Domantas Sabonis this offseason, and it looks like Markkanen could be the one on their radar. But despite that interest, prying him away from the Jazz will be a difficult feat.

Utah's stance on a Markkanen deal has remained unchanged since the rumors of his potential departure; they don't want to trade him, so if they want him on their team, they'll have to make them an offer Danny Ainge can't refuse. So far, no one seems to meet those requirements.

Sending a package that the Jazz would accept would have to be substantial, but it's not impossible that it could happen. The New York Knicks just made a great offer to the Brooklyn Nets with several unprotected first-round picks to acquire Mikal Bridges, who hasn't made even one All-Star appearance in his six years in the league.

A deal of that magnitude would be necessary, but it remains to be seen whether anyone in the NBA is willing to shell out that amount, even for a star-hungry team like Sacramento.

It is expected that the transfer rumors surrounding the jewel of the Jazz team will continue until the window for his renegotiations opens in early August.

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