Gobert, 30, has spent his entire nine-year career in Utah, developing from a lanky project who was drafted with the No. 27 pick into a perennial All-Star who has been a franchise cornerstone for a team that has six consecutive playoff appearances. The 7-foot Frenchman is one of the most decorated players in Jazz history, with three Defensive Player of the Year awards, three All-Star appearances, four All-NBA selections and six first-team All-Defensive selections.Gobert is entering the second season of a five-year, $205 million contract. Towns agreed to a four-year, $224 million supermax extension at midnight Friday, the first moment he was eligible, and has a total commitment of $295 million over six years.Rim protection has been Minnesota’s most glaring weakness, as the Timberwolves allowed opponents to shoot 66.9% at the basket last season, ranking 25th in the league, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. Gobert has earned a reputation as one of the premier rim protectors in NBA history, joining
NBA Trade Grades: Timberwolves Go All In on Jazz’s Rudy Gobert
The Jazz are up to something.on Friday, according to multiple reports. In exchange, the Jazz will receive Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, and four first-round picks. Utah will reportedly acquire unprotected firsts in 2023, ‘25, and ‘27, as well as a pick swap in ‘26 and a top-four protected pick in ‘29. Gobert, 30, is a three-time defensive player of the year winner. He averaged 15.6 points and 14.7 rebounds per game for the Jazz last season. He is signed on a max deal through 2025, with a player option for ‘26. Let’s grade the blockbuster for each team.Oooohhh boy. It was a little bit like a horror movie seeing the details of this trade come across your phone screen. It started out innocently enough with Gobert, but the inclusion of the four firsts was scream-inducing. This is a massive haul for Gobert, who while talented, is also polarizing and making a large sum of money for an extended period of time. On court, the fit here makes a lot of sense. Gobert is an elite backstopper and rim protector, and he will go a long way in covering up the defensive flaws of Karl-Anthony Towns or Anthony Edwards, particularly during the regular season. He can keep Towns away from screens, and mitigate Edwards’s or D’Angelo Russell’s struggles staying in front of elite scorers. Gobert was also a key ingredient to a Utah offense that was consistently near the top of the league, and this Minnesota team has even more perimeter scoring talent than those teams did—thanks in large part to Towns’s shooting ability. Edwards running high pick-and-rolls with Gobert with Towns on the wing will be deadlyIt’s hard to say this is a bad trade for the Wolves. The players they gave up are steady vets, but the potential impact Gobert can have is massive. Still, in a loaded conference, to give up so many picks for someone who may not take you over the top is incredibly risky. Not to mention the questions about Gobert’s value in the playoffs to a group like this one are fair. Does Minny have the perimeter defenders to keep Gobert out of scrambles? Will the size of Towns and Gobert backfire against teams who shift small? Even as someone who is not typically in line with some people’s adoration for draft capital, this is a stunning deal. Gobert and Donovan Mitchell had clearly reached their limit as a star tandem. And after some playoff runs that called into question both players’ utility in high-leverage moments, change was inevitable in Utah. The Jazz acquiring such a draft haul for Gobert is a great place to start. This move gives Utah significantly more salary flexibility, a chance to build around Mitchell with picks and vets to move, or the ammunition to begin a more significant teardown. Considering Gobert’s max contract, his postseason foibles, chemistry questions and an overall devaluing of highly paid centers, his trade value was difficult to gauge. Well, the Jazz just received more unprotected picks for Gobert than the Bucks had to give up for Jrue Holiday. With most of its own picks in its coffers as well, Utah is in a good position to take a wrecking ball to its most recent iteration while rebuilding quickly over the next couple years. Moving on from Gobert, a homegrown All-Star selected late in the first round, was never going to be easy. But if the Jazz finally had to take their medicine after another disappointing playoff exit, getting four firsts plus a swap makes the move a much easier pill to swallow. The Jazz have agreed to trade Rudy Gobert — a three-time defensive player of the year — to the Timberwolves for a massive package of players and draft picks, according to a person with knowledge of the blockbuster deal.Utah will receive four first-round picks between 2023 and 2029, a first-round pick from this year’s draft in Walker Kessler, along with Patrick Beverley and Malik Beasley, according to the person who spoke to The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity because the NBA had not approved the deal and neither team could announce it publicly.ESPN, which first reported the trade, also said Jarred Vanderbilt was going from Minnesota to Utah as part of the deal for Gobert — who now gets paired alongside another elite big man in Karl-Anthony Towns.“5 firsts …. Sheeeeeshhhhh,” New Orleans guard CJ McCollum posted on Twitter.Indeed, it is a slew of assets for the Jazz, who made the playoffs in each of the last six seasons and now seem to be resetting in multiple ways. Quin Snyder decided to depart last month after eight years as coach; the Jazz hired Will Hardy, a longtime San Antonio assistant and an assistant for Boston on its run to the Eastern Conference title this past season, to take over on the bench.And now, Gobert leaves, officially ending his pairing with guard Donovan Mitchell in Utah — an on-court relationship that seemed really good at times, and strained at other moments. And a series of disappointing playoff exits led to the annual question of whether the two could coexist on a title-contending team.Gobert is part of a new duo now: Twin Towers in the Twin Cities.He’ll start alongside Towns, forming what arguably will be the best 1-2 big-man punch in the league. Minnesota, barring other moves, could have a starting lineup of D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, along with Gobert and Towns.Minnesota struck the deal less than 24 hours after coming to an agreement on a $224 million, four-year extension with Towns, who is now under contract for the next six years.Gobert has four years and $170 million left on a five-year, $205 million deal he signed with the Jazz last summer.
Utah Jazz trade Rudy Gobert to Timberwolves
The Jazz are trading one of their foundational pieces, All-NBA center and three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, to the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to a report from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.In return, Utah will get two-way wing Malik Beasley, defense-oriented guard Patrick Beverley, forwards Jarred Vanderbilt and Leandro Bolmaro, rookie center Walker Kessler (the No. 22 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft), and four future first-round picks.Those picks will be unprotected selections from the Wolves in 2023, ’25, and ’27, plus a top-five protected pick in 2029. The Jazz can also elect to exercise a pick swap in 2026, should Minnesota finish with a worse record.Gobert and star guard Donovan Mitchell have been Utah’s centerpieces for the past half-decade. However, although the Jazz qualified for the NBA playoffs the past six seasons, the team has never made it past the second round.The team blowing a 2-0 series lead in the 2021 Western Conference semifinals to a Clippers team playing without injured superstar Kawhi Leonard, and then this year’s first-round ouster to a Dallas Mavericks team that went without All-NBA guard Luka Doncic for three games, had the effect of making Utah’s future uncertain.Would the team try to swap out the pieces around Gobert and Mitchell? Or opt for a more drastic change?The moves of the past month now spell out the latter optionHe was selected with the No. 27 pick in that year’s draft by the Denver Nuggets, who sold his draft rights to Utah. The Nuggets’ general manager that year was Tim Connelly — the man who just a short time ago took a new position as the Timberwolves’ president of basketball operations.For his career, Gobert has averaged 12.4 points, 11.7 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game on 65.3% field-goal shooting. In recent years, however, he has developed into one of the league’s best players. In the 2021-22 season, he led the NBA in rebounds (14.7) and FG% (71.3%) while also averaging 15.6 points and 2.1 blocksWhile he became beloved among the team’s fans for almost single-handedly propping up a defense devoid of perimeter stoppers, for his year-over-year development and improvement, and for his feisty, underdog attitude, his time in Utah was not without its controversies.He and Mitchell famously feuded in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. The NBA went into a months-long hiatus after Gobert became the league’s so-called “Patient Zero” — the first player to test positive for COVID-19. Mitchell became irate when he became the second to test positive the next day, accusing his teammate of being flippant and careless.Though the two eventually mended what The Athletic infamously called an “unsalvageable” relationship, the premise of tension between them never fully went away.Indeed, this past season, as the Jazz struggled with injuries, a COVID outbreak that rendered most of the month of January a lost cause and a series of blown double-digit leads that all combined to hang over the team like a black cloud, additional signs of strain appeared.As Gobert returned from his COVID-related absence,taking a thinly-veiled shot at Mitchell by noting that Phoenix Suns counterpart Devin Booker was “playing his ass off” defensively. Less than two months later, Mitchell returned the favor following a loss in Dallas. With Gobert having missed the game due to a leg injury, the guard pointedly wentThere may well be more moves to come soon. It remains to be seen what Mitchell’s future will be — if the team intends to construct a new core around him as the singular star, or if he might also be shipped off for another haul of picks, thus commencing a full rebuild. Other Jazz rotation pieces such as Bojan Bogdanovic, Mike Conley and Jordan Clarkson have been dangled in trade talks this offseason.The team is also set up to potentially make more significant moves next offseason. Noted salary cap expert Yossi Goozlan of HoopsHype has noted that the team could now have more than $40 million in salary cap space in 2023. (The Jazz are now free from the Gobert signed in December 2020, while Beverley is in the final year of his deal.
Rudy Gobert Trade Grades: Who won the trade between the Jazz and the Timberwolves?
This is madness. It’s a free agency frenzy. And the thing about it is there’s plenty more to come.Before we get into all that, though, we need to take a second and get a feel for where we’re at with this deal here. Gobert to the Timberwolves shakes things up quite a bit in the Western Conference.So who got the better end of this deal? Let’s dive into the details and take a look.There’s really not too much more you can ask for from this deal with the Jazz. They don’t really have to start over — they got a full rotation of players in Beasley, Beverley and Vanderbilt here along with a solid prospect in Walker.But if they wanted to just tear it down to the studs and build anew, they can do that, too. What they traded for essentially amounts to five draft picks starting with Kessler, who was a 1st round pick this year. On top of that, they’ve got four future draft picks with 3 of them being unprotected. In just 24 hours, they’ve amassed 6 1sts between this dealThe Wolves have certainly improved their starting rotation by getting a perineal Defensive Player of the Year candidate and lining him up next to Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns also gets to play the perimeter a lot more and doesn’t have to be the lynchpin of the Wolves’ defense — something he’s incapable of doing.There are also other moves they can make here to continue to bolster their roster — moving D’Angelo Russell is the obvious one that hasn’t come to pass yet.But, at the same time, they’ve basically sacrificed all of the depth that got them into the postseason last year. They gave away important defenders in Beverley and Vanderbilt, who are both legitimate All-Defensive team caliber players. Malik Beasley isn’t the defender they are, but he’s a scoring wing. That has value in the NBA and those players are hard to come by.There’s also the fact that they just gave up their entire future — picks that could’ve made a difference for a team with a lack of depth — to get one player. Gobert is an awesome player, but is he worth that? I’m unsure.Ultimately, the Wolves will be in contention for homecourt in the playoffs next season. They’re probably a darkhorse threat to make it all the way to the Finals should things go well. But there are so many “ifs” in that scenario.The precarious Gobert-Towns fit has to work well. Anthony Edwards has to step up and become a star. D’Angelo Russell — if he’s still there — has to mesh well here. They’ll need to rework a bench rotation now, too.There are more questions about the Wolves than answers when it comes to this trade. There’s still time to find answers, obviously, but they’ve got to do it before the market dries up.Since the disappointing end to last season at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the Jazz were expected to reconfigure their roster. Gobert, 30, was long considered to be the one most likely to be traded over fellow All-Star Donovan Mitchell.Selected with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Gobert became a full-time started during 2015-16 season. Since then, the center has become one of the most dominant defensive players in the league, having been named the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year three times.