All-Star forward may have just blinked on the 76ers for a rescue trade

This All-Star forward may have just signaled an interest in joining the Philadelphia 76ers via trade. A reach or not?
76ers, Tyrese Maxey
76ers, Tyrese Maxey / Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

There’s been quite a lot of player movement in the 2024 NBA Draft, and even though the annual festivity has just ended, trades should continue piling up until deep into the offseason, at least the Philadelphia 76ers hope so.

Unfortunately, some of the biggest A-listers pegged to be available for taking this summer are now slated to ultimately remain with their respective clubs, which is a bad news for a 76ers team that has long been doing the prepwork to be able to lure in stars into Philly. Instead, the front office now has a taller task ahead of them as they try to keep up with stronger competition.

Did Lauri Markkanen just signal interest in getting traded to the 76ers?

Nonetheless, the rumor mill continues to involve the 76ers as a major protagonist, entangling them in any viable scenario. And while we’re nitpicking, do unsolicited social media follows in the midst of an important event count as a hint to wanting to get moved? Normally, of course, not. Context prevailing, though, maybe.

Lauri Markkanen, in the thick of the first round of the draft, followed Joel Embiid on Instagram, prompting the nominal armchair general managers on Twitter to shell out inquisitive takes right out of their holsters. It goes a little deeper than that, though, and it may not be a reach to infer that the All-Star could be intrigued with a trade to a contender like the 76ers.

After all, the Utah Jazz are in a state of flux, stuck between their longstanding win-now design which has almost never left any room for an intentional bottoming-out. Heck, their reported interest in pursuing veteran free agents is a testament to their puzzling, yet in-theme edict to continue to make the playoffs next season.

Quite frankly, the odds of Utah catapulting itself back to the NBA consciousness are slim. For as good of a player Markkanen is, he simply doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence as a franchise centerpiece moving forward. He’s 27 years old.

A team like the 76ers, however, make perfect sense as a destination for him. Not only does he tout a well-fitting skill set, but he fits right into the franchise’s vision of being able to compete now and in the immediate future. The price to acquire him would definitely be steep, but it will likely be worth it.

Anyway, should he truly desire to get out of Utah, Markkanen should just blink harder next time and shoot Embiid a DM. Let Daryl Morey do the rest.

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