5 trades for the Jazz to solve the Rudy Gobert-Donovan Mitchell impasse

Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images
Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images /
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NBA Rudy Gobert Golden State Warriors
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Golden State Warriors

Speaking of suboptimal returns, the Golden State Warriors know a thing or two about losing stars. In Kevin Durant‘s departure last summer, they implored to get something in return through a sign-and-trade. That something was D’Angelo Russell, whom they later flipped for Andrew Wiggins and a pick at the trade deadline

“The Warriors need a center” is an uneducated talking point, as they’ve made the most of very cheap bigs in the past. But Stephen Curry is already 32, and Draymond Green and Klay Thompson are both 30. With Curry’s injury history, Green’s consistent beating down low and the trio’s five straight Finals trips, how much is really left in the tank?

The question is who to trade for Gobert, and the answer probably comes down to one of Wiggins (25 years old) or Green (30). Both are signed through 2023, but Green has an option of $27.6 million for 2023-24.

Wiggins has $122.2 guaranteed through 2023, while Green is promised $90.6 million until then (assuming he takes the player option that rises to $118.3 million through 2024). The Jazz would not be thrilled with either, but if the Warriors sweeten the pot enough, it may not matter.

The Warriors basically reroute their Russell trade package and add Kevon Looney as a sweetener. Now Green and Gobert can truly fortify the Warriors’ defense, letting Curry and Thompson wreak havoc on the perimeter. Gobert and Green can also have a tandem offensively; the latter’s precise passing on the short roll can lead to tons of finishing chances for the former.

The Jazz have a poor contract on the books now, but it’s not completely immovable, nor is it a complete sunk cost; if there’s anyone who can get something out of the former No. 1 pick, it’s Quin Snyder. Looney is also a nice, cost-controlled big to transition with. Maybe in a bigger role he can earn a serious contract from Utah.