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Winners, losers from the Rudy Gobert trade to the Timberwolves

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This blockbuster deal doesn’t quite fit into the “winners and losers” paradigm that we use to measure deals on this site.

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Perhaps the Timberwolves have gotten better by earning three-time Defensive Player of the Year. Rudy Gobert and overpaid for his services. It’s also fair to wonder how this roster performs in the regular season compared to the playoffs.

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And while the Jazz bring home a treasure chest of draft picks, it’s just the first step in Utah—they say they’re going to rebuild on the fly. Donovan Mitchellbut a lot of people in the league think Mitchell might be on the move and a complete overhaul is coming. How we ultimately view this trade will depend on subsequent moves.

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However, let’s try to break down this trade, which looks like this:

The Timberwolves get: Rudy Gobert.

Jazz take: Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverly, Walker Kessler, Jarred VanderbiltLeandro Bolmaro, four first round picks (unprotected first round picks in 2023, 2025, 2027 and the top five protected first round picks in 2029).

WINNER: Rudy Gobert

This new setting will better demonstrate how it will be a game changer in defense. There was complacency about how he had cemented a Utah team made up of mostly poor perimeter defenders—even Anthony Edwards entered the case, saying that he was afraid Kristaps Porzingis more like a protector than Gobert.

This new setting – and covering up Edward’s youthful defensive mistakes – will better showcase Gobert’s strength as a rim guard and defensive quarterback in the paint. Karl-Anthony Towns not a great defender and will now have to guard more around the perimeter, where he will be a turnstile. D’Angelo Russell not a good defender. Gobert will take away a lot of that – he was on a team that needed exactly what he was offering. Gobert could get his fourth DPOY this season, and this trade will ultimately have a positive effect on his perception by the fans.

WINNER: Timberwolves in regular season

The addition of Gobert makes Minnesota better, especially in the regular season. Towns is an offensive force, Anthony Edwards is not only fast becoming one but is going to be the best player in the Timberwolves, they have shots, and Gobert is good as a role player or an exit dunker. Minnesota was in the top 10 offense last season and should be even better this season.

And this exchange should also improve their average defense. So the Timberwolves — seeding seven ago — are in the top six in the West and avoid docking (even with the healthy Clippers, improved Pelicans, and an overall deep conference). This is a good team.

LOSER: Timberwolves versatility in the playoffs

Gobert’s playoff struggles are somewhat exaggerated: he was still an outstanding quarterback in the postseason. However, Utah’s lack of good perimeter defenders left him in a quandary compared to five outs on offense – should Gobert defend the ring after the Jazz’s defenseman had just been taken down, or stay with his shooter in the corner. who can bring down these 3?

Teams will put the Timberwolves in the same position, and with Towns playing in the four, things could be a little worse. The trend of playing more and more in the playoffs is getting smaller—both Boston and Golden State have relied on smaller rosters to make it to the Finals—and the Timberwolves will be put to the test they, may not be able to answer. It wouldn’t be easy to keep Gobert and Towns on the court in key playoff minutes.

Will the Timberwolves have a flexible roster that thrives in the postseason?


It’s still too early to tell if the Jazz won or lost this deal because we need to see what happens next. Because there will be a next one. New moves are coming.

This does not mean that they will trade Donovan Mitchell. For now. My guess is that even if they are thinking of trading it in and taking it completely apart for restoration, CEO Danny Ainge and the Jazz won’t do so until the 2023 All-Star Game in Salt Lake City where Mitchell will be hosting. and star. A more likely scenario is that this season is in Utah, and Mitchell and Ainge come to an understanding, and then Mitchell is sold (smart money will force him to go to the Knicks).

Or maybe Ainge can thread a needle and rebuild on the fly around Mitchell and make this team a bigger threat in the West under new coach Will Hardy. Of course, there are several big names in the trading market.

We need more information before calling it Jazz.

WINNER: Jayden McDaniels

The second-best young player in the Timberwolves and a handicapped defenseman, he is now a starter after this trade and will be the center of attention on the wing alongside Edwards. More McDaniels is good in Minnesota.

LOSER: Minnesota’s future flexibility

The Timberwolves no longer appear to be very agile.

Part of that is wages. Towns just signed a $244 million contract extension, Gobert will earn $170 million over the next four years, and Anthony Edwards’ maximum contract extension is just a couple of years away. Now the ledgers are littering Russell’s $30 million a year. This is an expensive compound.

And right now they don’t have many first round picks.

The best organizations try to stay agile and dynamic. Boston did a pretty good job and let them sign Danilo Gallinari and trade for Malcolm Brogdon after qualifying from the NBA Finals. The Clippers, Raptors and even the Suns have some flexibility to go after a star like Kevin Duran if they want. Minnesota is not the right team right now, and they may regret it in the future.


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