The Minnesota Timberwolves are pairing another All-Star big man with Karl-Anthony Towns, acquiring Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz in a blockbuster trade, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. The deal includes Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro and a whopping four first-round picks.
Here’s a breakdown of the picks, with a pick swap in there for good measure:
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
This is a massive haul for Gobert as the Jazz shake up their roster in a big way. The French big man just finished up the first season of a five-year, $205 million contract.
The Timberwolves were rumored to be in the market for an upgrade at center to help improve their defense. Well, they just got the best one available by winning the Gobert sweepstakes. Minnesota did it without including Jaden McDaniels or D’Angelo Russell, who was reportedly being shopped. It’s unclear if the Timberwolves will continue to look at Russell trades or if they’ll roll with a core featuring him, Gobert, Towns and Anthony Edwards.
That’s a formidable group that will be looking to take the next step after making the playoffs this past season. Minnesota lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round, but the hope is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year in Gobert will transform the defense while Towns, Edwards and perhaps Russell lead the way on offense.
This is also a rather ironic twist of fate for new Timberwolves lead exec Tim Connelly:
In Tim Connelly's first draft as Denver GM in 2013, he traded out of the 27th pick – and the Jazz selected Rudy Gobert there. Now, Connelly lands Gobert in his first weeks as the new president of the Timberwolves.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2022
Meanwhile, will this be the only blockbuster trade the Jazz pull off this offseason? ESPN’s Brian Windhorst was hinting at the potential of a full rebuild earlier Friday, so could Donovan Mitchell be on the way out next? Danny Ainge is in the business of making big moves, so it shouldn’t be put past him.
On the flip side, Utah could look to retool around Mitchell, with rumors of Deandre Ayton popping up already.