Report: All-Star Jazz Trade Center Rudy Gobert in Minnesota
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) tries to shoot Dallas Mavericks forward Dorian Finney-Smith (10) during Game 6 of the playoffs in Salt Lake City on Thursday, April 28, 2022. ( Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
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SALT LAKE CITY – Goodbye, Rudy.
For months, rumors and gossip have been circulating around the prospect of a swap deal with Rudy Gobert. That didn’t make the news any less shocking when it finally came out.
Gobert, Utah’s longtime defensive anchor, is no longer on the Jazz.
In a franchise-changing move, Utah is moving the All-NBA center and three-time Defensive Player of the Year to the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to a report by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
In exchange, Utah will receive winger Malik Beasley, veteran guard Patrick Beverley, forwards Jarred Vanderbilt and Leandro Bolmaro, rookie center Walker Kessler — the No. 22 pick in the 2022 draft — and four future first-round picks. .
Those picks will be Minnesota’s unprotected first-round picks in 2023, 2025, and 2027, as well as a top-five protected pick in 2029. Athletic reported the deal also comes with a pick trade in 2026.
It’s loot, no doubt. The Jazz got five first-round picks (plus one trade) and usable (or at least mobile) players. But it’s not a winning decision now, at least not yet.
Utah, however, is not finished yet. Multiple reports have indicated that the team has no plans to release All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. So trading Gobert won’t usher in a full rebuild of the franchise; he plans to retool around his All-Star guard.
Whether that retool includes Beasley, Beverly or Vanderbilt remains to be seen, as the Jazz could knock those players over in other potential deals.
Gobert, 30, has been a cornerstone of the franchise for much of the past decade. He appeared in three All-Star Games, won three Defensive Player of the Year awards and made four All-NBA Teams.
He spent his entire nine-season career with the Jazz, going from a young draft center that Utah traded on draft night in 2014, to one of the best defensemen of his generation and of all time. He’s been one of the best players in the league over the past half-decade.
The Jazz built their entire defensive identity and offensive system around Gobert’s abilities. 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 blocks, and has again was a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Gobert signed a five-year, $205 million deal ahead of the 2020-21 season and has been open about wanting to bring a championship to Utah. But the final months of his stay in Utah were defined by his ongoing feud with Mitchell.
It was Gobert who was labeled ‘Patient Zero’ of the COVID-19 pandemic after being the first NBA player to test positive for the then-novel coronavirus in 2020. Once Mitchell tested positive the following day, a schism in the relationship was revealed. , with The Athletic saying he was “not salvageable”. The relationship eventually mended — at least for a while — and the Jazz were able to continue a historic run in the 2020-21 season, ending the year with the league’s best record.
But after a playoff slump against the Clippers, the cracks in the relationship showed up again. Last season, Gobert made veiled and not-so-veiled comments in the media during an underwhelming campaign that angered players and even his head coach, who said he would like those comments to be facts in another forum.
With that as a build, another first-lap outing paved the way for change.
This change took place on Friday.
Beasley and Beverley are both on expiring deals worth $28.5 million (Beasley has a $16.5 million team option for 2023-24), so they’re valuable assets to have. if the Jazz wants to move them. Otherwise, they are useful players.
Beasley is a two-way wing who averaged 12.1 points on 37% 3-point shooting last season, and Beverley is known for his aggressive ball defense.
Vanderbilt is a young wing (turned 23 in April) with advantages, while Bolmaro (2020 – and still 21) and Kessler are young first-round picks.