Grade the Trade: 76ers acquire Lauri Markkanen and shake up the NBA in wild pitch

The Philadelphia 76ers trade for Lauri Markkanen and shake up the NBA in this wild proposal. Let’s grade it.
76ers, Lauri Markkanen
76ers, Lauri Markkanen / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports
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Should the 76ers trade for Lauri Markkanen?

To play devil’s advocate, for his hypothetical role, lasering in on Markkanen seems like a world of luxury for the 76ers. After all, cheaper commodities who can provide what the All-Star brings to the table in increments exist, and it would be more prudent at this point to simply resort to high-end starters who won’t require them to surrender their future.

But that’s playing it safe. To get closer to Boston and New York, Philadelphia has to go big and eclipse their current ceiling as a mere Eastern Conference semifinalist, and Markkanen is exactly the kind of player they need to even be in the discussion with those teams.

The Jazz star is a much more attractive option at this point than Paul George, who will be commanding north of $50 million annually in free agency. The 76ers have to be mindful of building a sustainable roster capable of contending, and banking on a 27-year-old to be that third fiddle under that thrust would ensure their staying power among the league’s elite.

Lauri Markkanen would definitely thrive with the Philadelphia 76ers, and for as long as the Utah Jazz remain amenable to a draft-heavy return package to help kickstart a full-blown bottoming out, Daryl Morey and company should explore all options to do just that, even if they may have to sweeten the pot even more in some way.

Grade: A

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