NBA Trade Grades: Timberwolves Go All In on Jazz’s Rudy Gobert

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The Jazz are working on a secret plan. According to various sources, the Utah Jazz traded All-Star center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday. Instead, the Jazz will receive four first-round picks in the 2019 NBA Draft in the form of Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, and Jarrett Vanderbilt. First-round picks in 2023, ’25, and ’27 are expected to be unprotected, along with a pick exchange in ’26, and a top-four protected pick in ’29, according to the reports. The 30-year-old Gobert has won the Defensive Player of the Year award three times. Last season, he was averaging 15.6 points and 14.7 rebounds for the Jazz. He has a contract that runs through 2025, with an additional year of service available through a player option in 2026. Let’s take a look at how each club fared in the blockbuster.

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Timberwolves: C

Ooohhhhhhh boy. When you saw the specifics of this transaction flash across the screen of your phone, it was a little unsettling. When the four firsts were added, it was like a scene out of a horror movie. A significant chunk of money for someone like Rudy Gobert who is talented but also controversial and earning a lot of money over a long period of time. There is a lot of synergy here on the floor. To some extent, Gobert will be able to mask the defensive shortcomings of Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards, especially during the regular season. Edwards and D’Angelo Russell won’t have as much trouble keeping in front of Towns as he does. It’s worth noting that current Minnesota squad has even more perimeter scoring talent than those teams had owing in large part to the shooting prowess of Karl-Anthony Towns. With Towns on the wing and Gobert in the middle, Edwards’ high pick-and-rolls with Gobert and Gobert will be devastating.

It’s hard to argue that the Wolves made a horrible transaction here. In exchange for Gobert, they received veteran players with proven track records. Even yet, in a stacked conference, it’s extremely hazardous to give up that many selections for someone who may or may not carry you to the top. In addition, worries regarding Gobert’s postseason importance to a team like this one are legitimate. The question is whether or not the Minny defense has the perimeter defenders to keep Gobert out of the huddle. It’s possible that the size of Towns and Gobert will make it difficult for smaller clubs to compete. Even if you’re not a fan of draft capital as I am, this is a great offer nonetheless.

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Jazz: A

Gobert and Donovan Mitchell had plainly reached their limit as a star pair, even if I had argued for their continuation. Change was inevitable in Utah after a few playoff runs that questioned the effectiveness of both players in high-stakes situations. It’s an excellent start for the Jazz to acquire this many draft picks for Gobert. While it’s possible to build around Mitchell with draft picks and veterans, or begin a more serious teardown, this decision gives Utah a huge amount of salary flexibility. Gobert’s max salary, postseason blunders, chemistry concerns, and an overall decrease in the value of highly paid centers made it impossible to estimate his trade value.. Gobert’s unprotected draft picks were worth more to the Jazz than the Bucks had to give up in exchange for Jrue Holiday. Utah, armed with the majority of its own draft picks, is well-positioned to demolish its most recent incarnation and begin anew in the next two years. It was never going to be easy to move on from Gobert, a local All-Star who was taken late in the first round. If the Jazz eventually had to take their medicine following another playoff elimination, obtaining four firsts and a trade makes the move a lot easier to digest.

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