The long shots
It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which the Jazz trade away Markkanen, as he is currently their best player and worth building around as a 26-year-old seven-footer who can shoot the lights out and just made the All-Star team.
Markkanen would be an ideal fit next to Jalen Duren, so he’d be near the top of my list of targets, but he’s a long shot at best.
The factors working in the Pistons’ favor are that the Jazz have a lot of power forward types and did just use a draft pick on Taylor Hendricks and traded for John Collins, which was a weird move, and that Markkanen only has a partially guaranteed year on his deal after this one, so if for some reason the Jazz feel they don’t want to give him the massive raise he has coming, who knows, they could try to move him for assets.
He would take at least one of the Pistons’ core players (Jaden Ivey?) plus some, so I am not even sure the Pistons have the assets to get him, but we can dream.
The Raptors could decide to do a soft rebuild this season if things aren’t working out and soon-to-be free agent Pascal Siakam would be the likely player to be traded. He’s a risky one for any team, as he’s already expressed his desire to test free agency and get one last maximum deal while he is still on the right side of 30.
This limits his value, which is a good thing, but also makes him a huge risk unless there was some guarantee he’d re-sign. And then you have the risk of giving a 30-year-old a max deal.
There are probably too many red flags with Siakam when it comes to money.