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Preview: Warriors set to take on Jazz in Utah

Jazz big Lauri Markkanen has been linked in trade rumors to the Dubs; tonight let’s see what the hype is all about.

Utah Jazz v Golden State Warriors Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors are a sub .500 basketball team, floundering to a 18-22 record that has their fanbase contemplating if this is truly the beginning of the end of the dynasty. Their opponent tonight is the Utah Jazz, an organization that is red-hot with six straight wins.

A win tonight for the Dubs would mean a big step towards building confidence and chemistry, while a loss would mean that the Dubs are proving they aren’t currently measuring up in the Western conference.

Golden State Warriors at Utah Jazz

January 17th, 2024 | 6:00 PM PT

Watch: NBC Sports Bay Area, NBA TV

Listen: 95.7 The Game

The Jazz are led by Lauri Markkanen, a 7-foot versatile scorer who is drawing comparisons to Dirk Nowitzki. Per Sports Illustrated:

“(He’s) a 7-footer that can really stretch the game out and play inside. He’s underrated as an athlete. And his length is really special, and the efficiency with which he catches the ball and gets rid of it, shoots it — he just like catches it up here and just goes like this from like anywhere,” Carlisle said. “People have tried to put bigger guys on him, smaller guys on him, he shoots over the smaller guys, he’s out-crafts the big guys.”

“So, he’s tough. He’s a much tougher player than what you may think looking at him,” Carlisle explained. “He’s tall, slender, angular, but he’s rugged. So he’s a major, major problem.”

Umm yeah anytime a guy is being compared to the great Dirk he’s probably something of a monster. He’s currently averaging 24 points and almost 9 rebounds per game on just under 50% shooting from the field.

That’s probably why he’s the object of trade speculation from the Golden State trade machine experts. A big guy who can score is exactly who the Warriors need, right? Michael Pina of the Ringer had these thoughts:

The (potentially) good news for the Warriors, though, is that the best player who is (conceivably) available in a trade this season is good enough to rejuvenate a fading albeit proud and battle-tested core. That player is Lauri Markkanen. If the Jazz are willing to sell high on their All-Star forward (and at 8-16, near the start of a rebuild, it’s easy to see why they should), then Warriors GM Mike Dunleavy Jr. should call Danny Ainge and Justin Zanik with a bunch of attractive stuff on the table. Here’s one splashy deal that makes enough sense for both sides.

Warriors get: Markkanen

Jazz get: Jonathan Kuminga, Moses Moody, Gary Payton II, and two unprotected first-round picks

Golden State’s best path forward, ironically, is to double down on its veteran experience and completely turn the page on the remnants of a two-timeline plan that’s currently on life support. Here’s their nine-man rotation after making this trade: Curry, Markkanen, Wiggins, Thompson, Green, Kevon Looney, Chris Paul, Dario Saric, and Brandin Podziemski. This team can win the title!

Wellp, the Warriors will get a chance to peep Markkanen live tonight in Salt Lake City!

Poll

Who ya got, Warriors or Jazz?

This poll is closed

  • 41%
    Warriors, they’re due to get rolling
    (16 votes)
  • 58%
    Jazz, they’re on fire right now
    (23 votes)
39 votes total Vote Now

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