One of the latest trade rumors right now is that the Spurs might be thinking of recruiting Chicago Bulls fourth-year power forward Lauri Markkanen. Where does this rumor come from, and does it hold any weight? And are there good reasons the Spurs should sign Lauri Markkanen? Let’s take a look.
Why Might the Spurs Sign Lauri Markkanen?
This conversation sprang up after a post in the Bleacher Report mentioned, “The pool of teams that will have the salary-cap space to make a run at Markkanen is limited, but multiple executives and scouts anticipate the San Antonio Spurs will make a strong offer this summer.”
So, that is pretty vague. And we hear rumors like this often enough to know they may or may not be significant. But signing Markkanen could be a good move for the Spurs for a few different reasons.
Judging from these poll results, recruiting Lauri is also a likely move. As of the time of this writing, more fans responding to the poll expect the Spurs to bring Lauri onboard than Collins. They also feel it is the most likely outcome out of all of the choices offered.
The Spurs Should Sign Lauri Markkanen for These Reasons
1. He has the size we need.
Keldon Johnson did a great job last season playing power forward, but there is no denying that a larger player would be a better fit for that role. Markkanen is an impressive 7’0” with a 6’11” wingspan.
2. Solid power forwards are hardly a dime a dozen.
Along with the physical size we are looking for, Markkanen is a talented and experienced power forward. Skilled power forwards are not exactly easy to find at the moment. So, if we have the opportunity to recruit Lauri, it probably makes sense to jump on it.
3. He is a reliable shooter.
If there is one thing the Spurs seem to struggle with, it is shooting 3s, am I right? A reliable shooter is something we really need, and Lauri can fit that bill. His 3-pointers percentage is .366, which is decent.
Markkanen is a Solid Option, but John Collins Would Be Better
Overall, I am supportive of the idea of recruiting Lauri. But if possible, I would rather trade for John Collins. For one thing, consider Tom Petrini of KENS 5’s observation that Lauri is a big man “who does space the floor but struggles everywhere else.” John Collins would be a more well-rounded option, bringing balanced performance to play.
One area where Markkanen particularly struggles is defense. And it is true that we need shooters, but defense is another aspect of play that the Spurs need to strengthen. Given that he would weaken the team in this area, he doesn’t seem like he would be the best value at the likely price point. Now, Collins himself is hardly a top defender either, but he wouldn’t be as much of a liability in this respect. Plus, he has improved a lot with defense, and that is something the Spurs can continue to develop (which is exactly what we’re good at).
I also feel that John Collins and Jakob Poeltl would complement one another. But I can’t really say the same for Poeltl and Markkanen.
You can take a look at the other reasons I’d like Collins here. While Collins would be pricey, we can afford him. I’d like to think that is going to happen, but like the SpursTalk members in the poll, I think the team will probably go for Markkanen. And you know what? He may not be Collins, but he is a solid second choice. So, I will be happy either way.