Lauri Markkanen Hopes To Remain With Jazz

In a conversation with Sam Amick of The Athletic, forward Lauri Markkanen made it clear he hopes to remain with the Jazz. An All-Star for the first time in 2022/23, Markkanen also won the Most Improved Player award in his first season with Utah.

Markkanen’s name has popped up in recent trade rumors, though rival executives expect him to stay put. He’s on a very team-friendly contract, making $17.26MM this season and $18.04MM in 2024/25.

Here are a few highlights from Amick’s interview with the Finnish star.

On the team’s slow start (Utah is currently 9-17 after going 37-45 last season):

“I try to look at the big picture. Obviously, we haven’t had the easiest start to the year, but I think it’s about keeping that long-term mindset in mind and trying to get better every day. Of course, we want to win every game, but even when you lose I think there’s things that we can learn and get better at. It’s not the easiest start, but everybody’s being positive still and working on the team stuff and individually as well. We just have to try to get more together and hopefully, we can grab a couple of these wins.”

On Salt Lake City:

“Oh, yeah. Love it. So we’d like to be there. We like the environment. It’s a pretty comfortable place to be.”

On dealing with trade rumors:

“I’ve been traded, I guess, technically three times with draft night included. Sometimes I knew about it. Sometimes I didn’t. So I kind of learned the business side of basketball. I’ve kind of learned to just go day by day and really put the work in and try to play to the best of my abilities and whatever happens happens, really. Like I said, I love being in Utah and it’s a compliment of what you’ve done in the past (that teams have interest). We’ll see. But yeah, I just want to emphasize that I really believe in what we’re building here with the Jazz. Go day by day. Do your best. That’s all you can do.”

The interview is worth reading in full for those who subscribe to The Athletic.

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