Photo: AP

The 2022-2023 season continues to be an outpouring blessing for Lauri Markkanen. After being traded away by the Cleveland Cavaliers last offseason, Markkanen is cherishing every piece of opportunity being handed to him as the new core foundation of the Utah Jazz.

Currently, the Finnish big man is averaging a career-high 22.4 markers to go with 8.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game on 53.9 percent shooting from the field and 36.1 percent from three-point distance. 

Statistically, Markkanen is on the pace for what could be an All-Star year as a Jazz man. Upon his stellar performance as an emerging star, Markkanen has been drawing praise and acknowledgment from his teammates. 

For him, he can only be proud and humbled by the flowers of his fellows down in Utah.

“It’s pretty cool to know that your teammates have your back,” Markkanen told’s, Mark Medina.

“Of course, I know it’s still real early in the season,” Markkanen added. “Obviously, I try to go out there and play like that every night. That’s my goal. It’s fun to hear that from them. But we keep going to work, and we’re focusing on the day-by-day. That has always been a personal goal of mine.”

Behind the Jazz’s shocking red-hot start is the clicking of Markkanen and his reliable teammates under the bright guidance of neophyte mentor Will Hardy. Should the club continue its pace en route to an unthinkable season, Markkanen is hands-down a well-deserved All-Star due to his contributions.

“It takes a lot,” Markkanen when asked what it would take to be an All-Star. “It takes us winning basketball games. We have to keep this thing going. I just have to keep being better everyday and putting numbers on a winning team. 

“That’s the trick. I know if I play to the best to my abilities, it’ll help the team.”

Only time can tell what will unfold, but it is safe to assume that the 25-year-old forward is right on track to achieve it.