With the NBA restart fast approaching, it will be interesting to see how the Utah Jazz will manage the storm. There have been looming concerns regarding the relationship between Rudy Gobert and Donovan Mitchell with some mixed reports on whether they have worked things out or not. If they can hash it out and play good basketball, then no one has to go anywhere. However, if a major collapse were to occur, then chances are that Gobert might have to go packing.
With Gobert eligible for a supermax extension, it’s important to consider the type of compensation Utah can command in a trade. The Jazz don’t have much leverage to work with as Gobert may eventually walk away with the Jazz getting back nothing in return.
Thus, some deals may not favor them, but it’s certainly better than nothing. Therefore, here are the 5 best possible offers for Gobert in the event that things don’t work out with the Jazz.
The Jazz can consider a straight-up trade of Gobert for Lamarcus Aldridge
- The case for the Utah Jazz: Aldridge isn’t who he once was, but he’s still pretty decent for his value, averaging 18.9 points on 57.1 percent true shooting. He would certainly do wonders for the spacing as he has improved on his 3 point shot over the years. This would also allow Mitchell to drive to the basket more frequently. While the Jazz may suffer on the defensive end with the departure of Gobert, they can definitely make up for it in terms of offense.
- The case for the San Antonio Spurs: While the Spurs have always been historically good, it just doesn’t seem like that’s the case this year sitting at 12th in the West. Therefore, shaking things up might just do the trick. Notably, they’ve made above-average rim protectors out of Tiago Splitter and Jakob Poeltl in the past. At this point, it’s scary what Gregg Popovich could transform Gobert into.
A trade bringing Gobert to Indiana and Myles Turner to the Jazz
- The case for the Utah Jazz: Turner would be an instant upgrade on offense. Not only will the Jazz be able to stretch the floor to allow Mitchell to drive to the basket, but Turner can also be an excellent rim-runner and lob threat, whose athleticism translates to a fast pace fit for Mitchell. In addition, the defense won’t fall off a cliff too as Turner was running for DPOY last year and looks like he could potentially win it some day down the road. With Quin Snyder leading the way, Turner may develop even more to bring better consistency to his game.
- The case for the Indiana Pacers: The Indiana Pacers have two bigs that simply may not fit together in the long run between Turner and Domantas Sabonis. Gobert would be a better option as he would stick to the paint, and Sabonis can hover more around the mid-range and 3-point area. The team’s pace is also well suited for Gobert where they play much slower compared to the Jazz.
The Jazz could hand over Gobert and Boston would send a 2020 first-round pick along with Marcus Smart, Robert Williams III, Daniel Theis, and Romeo Langford.
- The case for the Utah Jazz: Whatever happens, it’s inevitable that the defense will never be the same if Gobert leaves the team. However, Marcus Smart gives them something to work with. He can either make it easier for the Jazz to exercise the early-termination option for Mike Conley to free up more cap space, or they can roll with a new talented bench backcourt. All that being said, this isn’t the best return of investment for the Jazz. A three-team deal would spice things up.
- The case for the Boston Celtics: The Boston Celtics are legitimate contenders with a promising young core. The only piece that they lack is a sufficient option at the center position. Thus, it would make sense for them to pursuit Gobert in the hopes of filling this void as he would be an instant upgrade on the team’s rim protection. The only major concern for them is the tight salary cap situation beyond the 2020-2021 season. Therefore, it seems like pursuing a cheaper player that can protect the rim at a high-level would be a better option for the Celtics.
The Jazz could give Gobert in exchange for Andrew Wiggins, Kevon Looney and a 2021 top-five protected pick
- The case for the Utah Jazz: If there’s anyone who can get something out of Andrew Wiggins, it’s Quin Snyder. Looney is also a nice, cost-controlled big to transition with. Add these two to the starting lineup along with the young core, then the future of the Jazz isn’t so dim.
- The case for the Golden State Warriors: The Warriors have been longing for a center for years. A frontcourt of Green and Gobert would do insanely well on defense while Curry and Thompson wreak havoc on the perimeter. With all these moving pieces and Steve Kerr at the helm, there’s no reason to believe that a dynasty in the Bay Area may brew once again.
Gobert will be exchanged for Patrick Beverley, Ivica Zubac, Rodney McGruder, and a 2020 2nd round pick
- The case for the Utah Jazz: Zubac would be a young prospect that serves as an immediate replacement for Gobert. Moreover, they also get some wiggle room with Beverley on the roster where they can either utilize him to shutdown the backcourt of any opposing team, or use his value to create another favorable trade since they already have a slew of guards in Mitchell, Conley and Clarkson.
- The case for the Los Angeles Clippers: One of the biggest criticisms of the Clippers is that they don’t possess a strong interior presence. While they have done well so far, it might hurt them later on when they face off against teams that are loaded with bigs such as the Lakers, 76ers, etc. It also doesn’t help that Montrezl Harrell is approaching free agency which makes that center spot even weaker. Gobert to the Clippers would solve all their problems and fortify an already elite defense.