Report: Rudy Gobert traded to Timberwolves for four first-round picks, Beverley, Beasley more
Since he took over the front office in Minnesota, the buzz around league circles has been Tim Connelly wanted to lean into size and add a defensive big man to play next to Karl-Anthony Towns, someone who could solidify Towns’ weakness and let him focus on his immense strength — scoring the basketball.
Enter Rudy Gobert.
Utah is trading Rudy Gobert to Minnesota, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2022
How badly did Connelly want Gobert? Enough to overpay.
The Timberwolves are sending Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt and multiple first-round picks for Gobert, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2022
The Jazz are landing four Minnesota first-round picks and 2022 first-round pick Walker Kessler in the deal for Rudy Gobert, source tells ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2022
Those picks are the overpay — four of them, and they are barely protected. That’s a Harden-level pick package.
The picks going to Utah, per sources: unprotected 1sts in 23, 25, 27, a swap in ‘26 and a top 5 protected in ‘29— Jon Krawczynski (@JonKrawczynski) July 1, 2022
There is a lot to unpack here.
• Gobert makes the Timberwolves better. Fans tend to downplay him and his skillset, but he is an elite defender who improves Minnesota’s middle-of-the-pack defense, plus he can finish around the rim and make some passes. There are good reasons for the Timberwolves to try Gobert next to Towns.
• The question is the price tag. Why did Minnesota give up so much? Who were they bidding against that drove up the pick package that high? The Timberwolves’ argument is that when they win those are late first-round picks and not that valuable, and they have two elite bigs plus Anthony Edwards. Of course, “those picks are not going to be good” is what Nets GM Sean Marks said when he traded all those picks for Harden, and where are they now? Things change fast in the NBA.
• Connelly and Minnesota have bet that the “twin towers” idea of Gobert and Towns can work. That duo is imposing, however, it leaves coach Chris Finch some work to do creating space in the halfcourt (“Mr. Gobert, we’d like to introduce you to the dunker’s spot here along the baseline”).
• Can Towns play the four in the modern NBA, especially defensively?
• Where does the slashing of Anthony Edwards fit into this? He still should be the best player on this team within a couple of years and he will have the ball in his hands a lot. He has the potential to be a great playmaker, but the lane could be crowded for the Timberwolves next season. This will be a test for him.
• Gobert has four years and $140 million remaining on this contract.
• That D’Angelo Russell was not part of this trade raises eyebrows — Minnesota has been very openly to trading him, but the market has been slow.
• Danny Ainge has added five future first-round picks.
• The plan is reportedly to build around Donovan Mitchell, not trade him. (How Mitchell feels about that is another question.)
League sources: For now, there are no plans by the Utah Jazz to trade star guard Donovan Mitchell. The Jazz are committed to building around him. The Jazz are not done in trade talks. Expect more activity— Tony Jones (@Tjonesonthenba) July 1, 2022
• The plan also may be to pair Mitchell with a new center: Deandre Ayton.
The Utah Jazz have interest in exploring a trade for Suns restricted free agent Deandre Ayton. Would have to be a sign and trade since they do not have cap space.— John Gambadoro (@Gambo987) July 1, 2022
• Ayton to the Jazz would make Kevin Durant to the Suns far more difficult to pull off.