All-NBA center Rudy Gobert is on the move after being traded by the Utah Jazz to the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
• Rudy Gobert
• Malik Beasley?• Patrick Beverley?• Leandro Bolmaro?• Walker Kessler?• Jarred Vanderbilt?• 2023 first-round pick?• 2025 first-round pick?• 2026 pick swap?• 2027 first-round pick?• 2029 first-round pick (protected)
Minnesota is receiving one of the best defenders in the NBA. Gobert is a three-time Kia Defensive Player of the Year and has been a First Team All-Defensive selection for six straight seasons. He’s made the All-Star Game in three consecutive seasons with averages of 15 points and 13.9 rebounds.
He leaves a Jazz team that has loaded up on a slew of future assets since the start of free agency. Utah acquired a 2023 first-round pick from the Brooklyn Nets on Thursday in exchange for Royce O’Neale.
This week the Jazz also hired Will Hardy — a longtime San Antonio assistant and an assistant for Boston on its run to the Eastern Conference title this past season — to take over on the bench.
And now, Gobert leaves, officially ending his pairing with guard Donovan Mitchell in Utah — an on-court relationship that seemed really good at times, and strained at other moments. ESPN’s Wojnarowksi reports that Utah’s intention is now to retool its roster and build around Mitchell.
There’s been a series of disappointing playoff exits for Gobert and Mitchell, which led to the annual question of whether the two could coexist on a title-contending team.
Utah entered last season as one of the favorites to win the NBA title. Like a few other teams on the top of that list — the Lakers and Brooklyn, primarily — they wound up as disappointments. The Jazz, who brought back many key players from 2020-21, when they had the NBA’s best regular-season record, lost to the Dallas Mavericks in six games for their second first-round exit in three seasons.
Meanwhile, Gobert is part of a new duo now: Twin Towers in the Twin Cities.
He’ll start alongside elite big man Karl-Anthony Towns, forming what arguably will be the best 1-2 big-man punch in the league. Minnesota, barring other moves, could have a starting lineup of D’Angelo Russell, Anthony Edwards, Jaden McDaniels, along with Gobert and Towns.
Minnesota struck the deal less than 24 hours of coming to an agreement on a $224 million, four-year extension with Towns, who is now under contract for the next six years.
Gobert has four years and $170 million left on a five-year, $205 million deal he signed with the Jazz last summer.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.