The Minnesota Timberwolves took a major swing on Friday, trading for Utah Jazz center Rufy Gobert to fortify their defense.
The Wolves will look to build upon a season in which they won the NBA play-in tournament, thus making the official postseason, where they lost in six games to the Memphis Grizzlies.
While Gobert is an enforcing big man who has won the NBA’s Defensive Player of the Year award on three separate occasions, perhaps his value around the league wasn’t as high as Utah initially thought.
The Jazz appear to be going in a different direction, as this will raise questions about Donovan Mitchell’s future, as well.
As for Minnesota, they add a defensive stalwart behind Karl-Anthony Towns, creating a big-man duo none of us saw coming.
Rudy Gobert trade details: Utah Jazz and Minnesota Timberwolves
Jarred Vanderbilt and Leandro Bolmaro are also on their way to Utah, per Adrian Wojnarowski. The picks in question are in 2023, 2025 and 2027 (all unprotected), as well as a 2029 top-5 protected first-round pick.
Sure, Gobert’s offensive game is limited, but he’s a rebounding force and limits any opposing big in the Western Conference. That includes the likes of Anthony Davis and Nikola Jokic, among others.
The curious question as to how Towns and Gobert will share the floor is an understandable one. Yet, Minnesota must think highly enough of him to throw four future first rounders in Utah’s direction. The fact that those are unprotected hopefully will not come back to bite them, as the Wolves surely expect to be a playoff team with this core in tact.