What is holding up the Dallas Mavericks from acquiring Lauri Markkanen?
Making a deal for Markkanen happen will not be easy. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer dropped the rumor that the Bulls are seeking a first-round pick for the seven-footer and want a third team to take back the matching salary.
The second part is a must for Chicago. They pulled off a sign-and-trade to grab Lonzo Ball from the Pelicans, which hard-capped them for this season. The Bulls have just 12 players under contract and have already committed over $120 million in salary. They are just $21.5 million under the hard cap with three roster spots to fill. If Markkanen gets a $15 million per season deal, the salaries coming back to match would leave Chicago will virtually no room to maneuver.
The Mavericks do not want to give up a first-round pick to acquire Markkanen. They are still regretting dealing two for Kristaps Porzingis back in 2019. Dallas only owes one more selection to the Knicks and after 2023 will be free from the trade restrictions of dealing first-rounders. They have no design of giving up a first-round selection for Markkanen.
If they give in to the Bulls’ demands, it would cost Dallas at least two picks to acquire Markkanen. The Mavericks would have to give a first-round to Chicago, plus send out at least one draft pick to the team acquiring the matching salary. There is one way the Mavs could avoid that.