NBA Rumors: Could Lauri Markkanen Be Part of Eventual Ben Simmons Trade?

Lauri Markkanen - photo via USA Today Sports Images

The Cavaliers remain focused on bringing Ben Simmons to Cleveland and while there are many hurdles to accomplishing that feat, some of the club’s offseason moves may help them get closer to that goal.

Lauri Markkanen signed a four-year, $67 million deal with the franchise this summer, and longtime NBA journalist Marc Stein (via his newsletter) believes the power forward will be easy to trade if needed (once Markkanen is eligible to be dealt on October 27).

Does Markkanen make sense for the Sixers? Well, he would be an elite third option off the bench assuming Tobias Harris remains at the four. That’s not a centerpiece in a trade for an All-Star like Simmons but he’d be a nice addition who could grow into something further if part of a larger deal.

The Cavaliers would likely have to get a third team involved, potentially angling Darius Garland or Collin Sexton (plus additional assets) to that team in exchange for a centerpiece who could help the Sixers today. Perhaps they have to deal with Markkanen as part of that arrangement instead of routing him to Philadelphia.

Markkanen should fit well in Cleveland alongside either Evan Mobley or Jarrett Allen on the floor, giving the Cavs a solid big man rotation. As Stein mentioned, he also fits well into trade scenarios down the line, including one for Simmons, which makes the team-friendly signing look even more favorable.

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About the Author

Chris Crouse
As a co-owner of FortyEightMinutes.com, Chris Crouse wears many hats, including editor and marketing director. He previously covered sports business at CNBC and he has covered the NBA for various publications, including SLAM Magazine and Hoops Rumors, in addition to working on the business side of media.

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