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Jazz trade Rudy Gobert to Timberwolves for package of several players, multiple first-round picks, per report

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The Utah Jazz are trading Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, according to Adrian Wojnarowski. Minnesota is sending Utah Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Leandro Bolmaro, Jarred Vanderbilt and multiple first-round picks for the All-Star center. Those picks are unprotected first-rounders in 2023, 2025, and 2027, and a top-five protected pick in 2029. 

Gobert is a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and is widely considered the league’s best rim protector. In Minnesota, he will link up with Karl-Anthony Towns, who is one of the NBA’s better offensive big men, to form one of the NBA’s best frontcourts. 

Minnesota finished a surprising 13th in defense last season with an aggressive trapping scheme, but Gobert takes them to an entirely different level. They’ll have to change their style, but no Gobert defense has finished below 13th in the past seven seasons. 

Utah, meanwhile, officially ends one of the more successful runs in franchise history. The Jazz have been a consistent playoff team with Gobert and Donovan Mitchell, but after a first-round flameout against the Dallas Mavericks, it became clear that change was needed. With head coach Quin Snyder also out, the Jazz will enter the 2022-23 season with a completely different looking team.

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Now the question is whether or not Mitchell will be the next Utah star out the door. Rumors have linked him to the New York Knicks for years, and the Miami Heat also appear to be on the prowl looking for star talent. If they could get four first-rounders for Gobert, they’d likely be able to fetch even more for the younger Mitchell, and moving him now would have the added benefit of positioning the Jazz to potentially land one of the top picks in the loaded 2023 NBA Draft. Headlining that class is another French center, Victor Wembanyama, who has been compared to Gobert defensively, but has a much more diverse game offensively.

For most of Utah’s time in the playoffs, Minnesota has been on the outside looking in. Now the two sides appear to be swapping places. The Timberwolves are trying to give themselves a chance to compete right now, and the Jazz are taking a step back hoping to figure it out later.

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