The Minnesota Timberwolves made the playoffs for the first time in four years last season, but they lost to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the postseason.
On Friday, Minnesota reportedly made a big move that could help them make a deeper run in the playoffs and possibly be championship contenders.
According to ESPN Adrian Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves will send Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler(number 22nd pick in this year’s draft), and four first-round picks to the Jazz for three-time All-Star center Rudy Gobert.
Utah will acquire unprotected picks in 2023, 2025, and 2027 and a top-five-protected pick in 2029, according to the report.
The 30-year-old Gobert, a three-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, has been voted to the NBA All-Defensive First Team for six consecutive season.
Last season, in 66 games, the nine-year veteran averaged 15.6 points, 14.7 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per contest. Obviously, with Gobert, you’re getting rim protection, which Minnesota needs. Last season, the Timberwolves were not very good on defense and were 24th in points allowed per game.
Gobert has four years left on his contract with a player option in 2025-26. He will make $38 million next season.
With the addition of Gobert, Karl Anthony-Towns, who reportedly signed a supermax contract with the team, will play the four spot and give Minnesota a big frontline. Also, they have Anthony Edwards, who appears to be special. This is a talented roster.
Clearly, the Timberwolves believe they have enough to compete for a title. Otherwise, you don’t make this move. Minnesota gave up a lot to get Gobert, and it should be interesting to see how he fits with this roster this season and beyond.