With free agency set to begin this week, the Oklahoma City Thunder have quite a bit of flexibility in terms of signing free agents and making trades. What could be their best option overall is making a move to sign Lauri Markkanen, who is a restricted free agent.
While OKC could try to sign him to a large offer sheet, they could also look to facilitate a sign-and-trade.
As first reported by Michael Scotto of HoopsHype, Markkanen is on the Thunder's free agency radar.
Markkanen averaged 13.6 points and 5.3 rebounds per game last season with the Bulls while shooting 40.2 percent from deep. Just 24 years old, he does everything you could ask for in a modern forward.
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With the ability to stretch the floor and rebound at a solid rate, Markkanen would fit great within Oklahoma City's scheme.
The Thunder already have a handful of promising forwards under contract in Darius Bazley, Aleksej Pokusevski, Isaiah Roby and Jeremiah Robinson-Earl. However, Markkanen has proven more than any of those players to this point in his career.
The only concern with Markkanen is his injury history. After being drafted No. 7 overall in the 2017 NBA Draft, he played in 68 games as a rookie. Since then, he hasn't notched a season with more than 55 games played.
Either way, he's without a doubt worth the risk for the Thunder. Markkanen is set to earn a nice payday, so he won't be cheap for OKC. However, he fits the timeline and has extremely high upside, making it all worth it.