After wearing out his welcome in Salt Lake City, the Utah Jazz sent three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a blockbuster trade that includes four future first-round draft picks and a haul of players including Patrick Beverly, Jared Vanderbilt, Malik Beasley, Leandro Bolmaro, and rookie Walker Kessler (the #22 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft).

Rudy Gobert Utah Jazz trade Minnesota Timberwolves
Center Rudy Gobert won the Defensive Player of the Year three times with the Utah Jazz. (Insert: Getty)

Gobert had a well-publicized falling out with Jazz All-Star Donovan Mitchell, so the team made the bold move to trade Gobert in an attempt to retain Mitchell and prevent him from demanding a trade to the New York Knicks.

The Jazz could use this bounty of picks to make a run at another free agent. Or perhaps they decide to rebuild the franchise from scratch and trade Mitchell for another haul of picks.

4 First-Round Draft Picks Rudy Gobert
Patrick Beverly
Jared Vanderbilt
Malik Beasley
Leandro Bolmaro
Walker Kessler

After the Gobert trade, the Minnesota Timberwolves saw a bump from +5500 to +4000 odds to win the 2023 NBA championship, and the Jazz saw their odds slip from +4000 to +6500.

Minny Twin Towers: Gobert and KAT

If Gobert is worth nearly five first-round picks — four future picks plus a first-rounder from this year’s draft — then the Brooklyn Nets are looking at a massive haul when they trade Kevin Durant to the highest bidder.

The Timberwolves seek to become a legit title contender and Gobert provides them with the best rim protector in the league. He’ll play alongside Karl-Anthony Towns who can now focus on scoring while Gobert can wipe the glass and roam the paint on defense. The Timberwolves have a thin bench, but they have a strong starting five with Anthony Edwards, D’Angelo Russell, Gobert, Towns, and Kyle Anderson.

Gobert averaged a double-double with the Jazz over the last six seasons. Last season, Gobert averaged 15.6 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 2.1 blocked shots. He also led the NBA in rebounding and posted the sixth-best PER rating at 24.76. His defense and rebounding are top notch, but it’s only a matter of time before his new teammates grow weary of his antics. The word “asshole” is mentioned a lot when describing Gobert, but perhaps the change of scenery will make him chill out.

Towns recently signed a supermax contract extension for $224 million. Gobert is in the second year of his five-year contract that’s worth $205 million. At some point in the near future, the Timberwolves will have to lock up Edwards — the #1 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft — a lucrative extension.

Gobert Trade Winner: Jazz or Timberwolves?

It’s unknown how many of these new players the Jazz will keep or cut, but the Timberwolves shipped away two starters in this trade. The Jazz added six future first-round picks in the last few days including obtaining a first-rounder from the Brooklyn Nets for Royce O’Neal.

Veteran point guard Patrick Beverly is a defensive specialist who averaged 9.2 points, 4.6 assists, and 4.1 rebounds per game off the bench with the Timberwolves last season. At this point, he’s the third point guard in the Jazz rotation behind Mike Conley and Sixth Man Jordan Clarkson.

Shooting guard Malik Beasley averaged 12.1 ppg off the bench for the Timberwolves last season, while shooting 37.7% from 3-point range. For now, Beasley will play in the second unit while backing up Bojan Bogdanovic.

Power forward Jared Vanderbilt averaged 6.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game as a starter with the Timberwolves last season. He should slide into the Jazz’s starting five.

Walker Kessler is a 7-foot-1 big man from Auburn, who was the #22 pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. Kessler will be competing with Hassan Whiteside and Udoka Azubuike for minutes.

Argentina’s Leandro Bolmaro only saw action in garbage time last season with the Timberwolves, but he was a throw-in in the trade.

Time will tell if the Utah Jazz or Minnesota Timberwolves are the big winner in this blockbuster trade, but my initial thought was that the Jazz got the best of this deal and Timberwolves overpaid for Gobert.