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Massive Jazz haul in Gobert trade made Durant trade impossible

2022 NBA All-Star - All Star Practice

CLEVELAND, OH - FEBRUARY 19: Rudy Gobert #27 of Team Durant walks onto the court before the NBA All Star Practice as part of 2022 NBA All Star Weekend on Friday, February 19, 2022 at Wolstein Center in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2022 NBAE (Photo by Chris Schwegler/NBAE via Getty Images)

NBAE via Getty Images

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:

Numerous NBA executives who spoke with HoopsHype believe the Gobert trade made it harder for Durant to be moved. The draft pick compensation Utah received from Minnesota was considered such a lopsided haul for Utah around the league that if the Nets got anything less than that for Durant, Brooklyn’s front office would’ve looked foolish, according to numerous rival executives.

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.