3 Players worth trading Austin Reaves to land before the deadline

The Lakers should only consider trading Austin Reaves for a star before the Feb. 8 deadline.

Los Angeles Lakers, Austin Reaves
Los Angeles Lakers, Austin Reaves / Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Lauri Markkanen

The Jazz got off to a slow start, and Markkanen was mentioned in trade rumors. Utah has surged back into the Play-In Tournament race and has little reason to trade their 26-year-old All-Star. He continues to prove his breakout was no fluke.

If the Lakers want a star, Danny Ainge is always willing to make moves. The Jazz are in year two of a rebuild. They will only trade Markkanen if they get blown away by an offer, but Los Angeles should be desperate. LeBron James is 39 years old and cannot play at this level forever. The Lakers must win now if it is going to happen with the NBA’s all-time leading scorer as their alpha.

Markkanen is averaging 24.0 points per game while shooting over 49 percent from the field and just under 40 percent on his 3-point tries. The seven-footer would give the Lakers size inside and solve their two biggest weaknesses. Markkanen can create shots and sink open looks. He would help the Lakers space the floor and get their offense on track.

How does his game translate to the playoffs? Lauri Markkanen played in two Play-In Tournament games in 2022 but otherwise has zero postseason experience. Can he shine in the biggest moments? This trade would be a gamble, but one the Lakers must consider given their current struggles.