Massive Jazz haul in Gobert trade made Durant trade impossible
Three unprotected first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027), one top-five protected first-round pick (2029), a pick swap option in 2026, Walker Kessler (the No.22 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft), Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, and Leandro Bolmaro.
The oversized, massive haul that Minnesota gave Utah to land Rudy Gobert left team executives around the NBA shaking their heads (even as the Timberwolves had legitimate reasons to go all in).
It also made it nearly impossible for the Brooklyn Nets to trade Kevin Durant — KD is a better player than Gobert, so the Nets needed to get even more. That size trade package was not out there. Michael Scotto of Hoopshype talked to executives and heard the same thing:
It also impacted what teams were willing to give up — other executives did not want to look like the Timberwolves. That is playing out in the Donovan Mitchell trade talks between the Jazz and Knicks: New York offered five first-rounders, two unprotected, but Danny Ainge and the Jazz believe Mitchell is worth more than Gobert and want four unprotected picks. So the sides are stuck.
The Timberwolves had their reasons to make the deal. Minnesota — a team that made the playoffs last season for the second time in 19 years and hasn’t been out of the first round of the playoffs since the Kevin Garnett era — saw going all-in on Gobert as a chance to be top-four in the West for years to come with Karl-Anthony Towns and Anthony Edwards. While there may be a below-the-finals ceiling on how good this Timberwolves team can be, it’s going to be good and that means a lot in Minnesota and to the new owners coming in. And maybe they will surprise us.
But the Timberwolves’ reasoning doesn’t change the fact they overpaid to get Gobert — and that deal has warped the trade market all summer long.