Wizards

Report: Jazz trading Rudy Gobert to Wolves for massive haul

Wizards

The Stifle Tower is on the move.

The Utah Jazz are trading three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a massive haul that includes several players and first-round picks.

Minnesota is sending Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Walker Kessler, Leandro Bolmaro and four future first-round picks to Utah in exchange for Gobert, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The Wolves surrendered unprotected first-round picks in 2023, 2025 and 2027 and a top-five-protected first-rounder in 2029, per Wojnarowski.

Gobert, who just recently turned 30, has been one of the NBA's most impactful defensive players for most of his nine-year career. The former 27th overall pick has averaged at least two blocks per game for eight straight seasons, made six consecutive All-Defensive First Teams and captured the Defensive Player of the Year award three times (2017-18, 2018-19 and 2020-21). 

Gobert also has four All-NBA nods and is coming off a third consecutive All-Star season, where he posted 15.6 points, a league-leading 14.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.

Yet, even for all of Gobert's accolades and elite defensive prowess, the price paid by new Wolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly is still staggering.

While the four first-round picks will (rightfully) get most of the attention, Minnesota also lost quality depth in the deal for Gobert, who has four years and $170 million left on his deal. Beasley, Beverley and Vanderbilt all played over 25 minutes per game on last season's Wolves team that surprisingly won 46 games and gave the No. 2-seeded Memphis Grizzlies a real run for their money in the first round of the playoffs. And Kessler essentially acts as a fifth first-round pick in the trade, as the Wolves just selected the Auburn big man 22nd overall in June's NBA draft.

 

Minnesota will be hoping that pairing Gobert with three-time All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns in the frontcourt will further improve a defense that went from 28th-best to 13th-best last season. The Jazz have boasted a top-10 defense for six of the past seven seasons, in large part due to Gobert. The 7-foot-1 center also gives the Wolves a strong screener and dangerous roll-man on the offensive end for guards Anthony Edwards and D'Angelo Russell. 

From Utah's perspective, the trade continues an offseason of change for the franchise. After the Jazz failed to make it past Round 1 of the playoffs for the third time in four years, Quin Snyder ended his eight-year tenure as head coach by stepping down last month. Utah also dealt Royce O'Neal, who's made 230 starts in a Jazz uniform, to the Brooklyn Nets for a future first-round pick on Thursday.

It doesn't seem like the offseason changes in Utah will include star Donovan Mitchell though, with Wojnarowski reporting that the franchise is looking to retool the team around the three-time All-Star.