The Utah Jazz finally decided to split up their main core after another year of playoff failure. The duo of Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert have been together ever since Mitchell was drafted in 2017. After an embarrassing loss to Dallas in the first round, Utah decided to ship off Gobert. Minnesota seemed like the ideal trade partner as they looked to capitalize on their last year’s playoff success. With such an unexpected move let’s break down the Rudy Gobert trade.
Grading the Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves Trade
Timberwolves get: Rudy Gobert
Jazz get: Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverly, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, and 4 first-round picks in 2023, 2025, 2027, and top-5 protected in 2029
Well, the Timberwolves are officially all in. After extending Karl-Anthony Towns this team decided to look for a duo partner in the front court. Who knew it’d be Rudy Gobert. The franchise has been in talks of moving Towns to the power-forward position and will elect to do that with Gobert.
Towns playing the power-forward will play more to his skills as he has a weak interior presence on defense and a gift for floor spacing. Gobert plays to all his strengths as he is one of the best defenders down low in the league and is limited to mainly dunks offensively. Gobert’s biggest problem in Utah was the lack of help defensively but with D’Angelo Russell taking a step up on defense and Anthony Edwards showing potential, this should be no problem for Minnesota.
The Timberwolves believe in the future of this team as they gave up so much draft capital to obtain Gobert. Gobert is already 30 years old so this is a win-now move. The Timberwolves will have to hope they can continue to compete with Towns and Edwards for years to come. The Timberwolves did do a nice job keeping their core as they kept three of their five starters and only gave up one key piece off their bench. Overall this is a huge defensive addition to a Timberwolves team that had the 13th best defensive rating.
The Jazz did a great job dumping salary after trading Gobert. Gobert is one of the highest-paid centers of all time so to get off his contract is huge for this now rebuilding team. Patrick Beverly is in the final year of his deal and Jarred Vanderbilt and Walker Kessler are on rookie deals. They have Malik Beasley locked up for the long run and he could be a valuable sixth man for Utah for years to come.
I don’t believe this is near the end of trades for Utah this offseason. By gaining so much draft capital this team will most likely look to ship off other older players including Bojan Bogdanovic, Jordan Clarkson, and Mike Conley. The team can also either move on from the 25-year-old Donovan Mitchell or keep him long-term to build around.
The Utah Jazz have been stagnant for years, making the playoffs but losing early on. They could’ve stayed on that path or decided to reset. They picked the latter on this getting young players, cheap contracts, and picks. Overall this will hurt the team now but improve their championship odds in the future.