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Latest NBA rumors reveal huge asking price Utah Jazz have for Walker Kessler trade

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Latest NBA rumors reveal huge asking price Utah Jazz have for Walker Kessler trade

Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz have been popular in NBA trade rumors in July, with reports revealing both center Walker Kessler and All-Star forward Lauri Markkanen are available for trade. However, the asking price for either player appears to be particularly steep.

Markkanen drew significant interest from the Sacramento Kings, Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs when he first popped up in NBA rumors. The Kings, Warriors and Spurs all made offers to Utah on Markkanen, but the exclusion of specific players in trade packages prevented a deal.

Related: New York Knicks reportedly pursued Walker Kessler trade

  • Walker Kessler stats (ESPN): 8.1 PPG, 7.5 RPG, 2.4 BPG, 65.4% FG, 23.3 minutes per game

There’s now a growing belief that it will be difficult for the Jazz to trade Markkanen both due to Utah’s asking price and his contract status. Unlike Markkanen, Kessler is under contract for multiple seasons but the asking price for a trade seems to be standing in the way of a deal.

According to Ian Begley of SNY, teams that have contacted Utah said the organization is seeking at least a first-round pick in exchange for Kessler.

“Teams in touch with Utah say the Jazz are looking for at least a first-round pick in return for Kessler in these conversations that have gone on earlier in the offseason.”

Ian Begley on the Utah Jazz’s asking price for a Walker Kessler trade

  • Walker Kessler contract: $2.965 million salary (2024-’25), $4.878 million salary (2025-’26), RFA in 2026

Also Read: Jalen Brunson considering massive sacrifice to help New York Knicks

Defensively, Kessler is one of the best, young centers in the NBA. He ranked sixth in FiveThirtyEight’s Defensive Raptor (3.1), ahead of players like Jaren Jackson Jr (2.6), Bam Adebayo (+2.5) and Isaiah Hartenstein (3.0). However, Kessler doesn’t contribute much offensively.

However, Kessler’s contract makes him more valuable. Even for teams targeting him as a backup center, a $2.965 million salary next season with a $4.878 million club option in 2025 makes him a bargain. While Utah may be specifically seeking an unprotected first-round pick years from now, Kessler would make a big impact for a contender like the New York Knicks as a role player. At least for now, though, a deal isn’t imminent. As a result, Kessler and Markkanen appear likely to remain in Utah.

Also Read: 10 best NBA moves this offseason

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