All-Star center Rudy Gobert will join fellow All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns in a blockbuster deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves, sources tell ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, No. 22 pick Walker Kessler, and four first-round picks will be traded to the Jazz, according to sources. In Danny Ainge’s first major trade since taking over as Utah’s CEO, the Jazz will acquire unprotected picks in 2023, 2025, and 2027 and a top-five-protected pick in 2029, according to sources.
Donovan Mitchell, the All-Star guard for the Utah Jazz, has already been rewarded with six first-round draft picks in a 24-hour period.
After being taken with the 27th overall choice in 2013, Gobert has spent his whole nine-year career with the Jazz, becoming a stalwart of the franchise who has helped the Jazz reach the playoffs six times in a row. Three Defensive Player of the Years, three All-Star Games, four All-NBA teams, and six first-team all-defense honors later, the 7-footer from France is one of Jazz history’s most decorated players.
“Felt accepted and supported since day one,” was his tweet to the state of Utah.
“I’ve developed as a man and a player right in front of your eyes, and I’m grateful for every single moment,” Gobert wrote. “Always, Utah and its people are in my heart and soul. Sincerely, We’re still on the road…”
With a $205 million contract, Gobert is starting his second season. A four-year, $224 million supermax extension was signed at midnight Friday, the first time Towns was eligible, and he is now committed to a total of $295 million over six years.
In 2021-22, when the Jazz’s turbulent season ended with a first-round loss at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks, Gobert averaged 15.6 points, a league-leading 14.7 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game. To date, the Jazz have failed to advance beyond their conference semifinals in this era, and the recent animosity between Gobert and Mitchell has put the Ainge-led front office in a position to make substantial changes this summer.
Quin Snyder resigned as Utah Jazz head coach last month, and the team undertook a lengthy search before bringing in Will Hardy, a 34-year-old Boston Celtics assistant. There was speculation that the Utah Jazz would be entering an era of rebuilding when the Nets dealt starter Royce O’Neal to the Jazz in exchange for a 2023 first-round choice on Thursday.
In order to pair Towns with a rim-protecting center, Timberwolves president Tim Connelly, who was brought away from the Denver Nuggets after turning that team into a perennial playoff squad, has been adamant.
Last season, the Minnesota Timberwolves finished 46-36, losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Memphis Grizzlies. While this was Towns’ first postseason trip since 2012, the Minnesota Timberwolves have yet to go past the first round in his seven-year career.
According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Timberwolves allowed opponents to shoot 66.9 percent from the field last season, which ranked 25th in the NBA. Aside from Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace, Gobert is the only player to win three Defensive Player of the Year accolades in the NBA’s illustrious history.
Both Beasley and Beverley, Utah’s most decorated players, have expiring contracts for $28.5 million. Beasley, however, has a $16.5 million team option for the next two seasons. Bolmaro and Kessler, both first-round choices, have shown some potential as backups for Vanderbilt, who is just 23 years old.
As soon as news of the deal broke, Beasley sent out a tweet wishing the Wolves luck and promising to assist the Jazz in making the playoffs.