Report: Minnesota Timberwolves acquire Rudy Gobert from Jazz

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. 

Garnett: ‘From day one, I wanted to be able to be different’

One of the greatest classes in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame history will be honored on Saturday night. Headlined by the late Kobe Bryant, Tim Duncan, and Kevin Garnett, the Hall of Fame class of 2020 will be inducted at Mohegan Sun Arena in Connecticut. 

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the ceremony was postponed and rescheduled for this year.

Garnett, who was a 15-time All-Star and will be presented by Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas, was one of the best power forwards in his era. He had a lot of battles with many great power forwards at that time. In the late 90s and early 2000s, in the NBA, especially in the Western Conference, you had guys like Dirk Nowitzki, Duncan, Chris Webber, Charles Barkley, Karl Malone, and more. Hence, it was not easy to make your mark in the league at the power forward position. 

As the position evolved, instead of post-ups, players started to face-up and became more perimeter-oriented.

On Friday, at the Hall of Fame press conference, the former MVP, discussed how he wanted to be different and the challenges of being a power forward at that time in the league. 

“The competition was real, night in and night out, you had a challenge every night,” Garnett said. “It wasn’t like an easy night at the four at the time. I think you had Chris Webber; you had Dirk(Nowitzki), you had Dice(Antonio McDyess), you had Joe Smith, you had Sheed(Rasheed Wallace), you had Timmy(Duncan), you had Chuck(Charles Barkley), you had Karl(Malone). The list goes on and on. 

“From day one, I wanted to be able to be different. I wanted to face-up. When I first came into the league in 95′, a lot of the bigs had the back to the basket. You didn’t see a lot of face-ups. Through the glory of working with Kevin McHale, I started to change the narrative of what a four looks like. I wanted to be a lot more versatile.”

Anything is possible, and coming from South Carolina, going to high school in Chicago, starting his NBA career in Minnesota, going to Boston, and finally winning an NBA title with the Celtics. Garnett has seen and done a lot in the NBA. Now, he is in basketball heaven. 

The Class of 2020 inductees will also include Patrick Baumann, 18-time NBA All-Star 10-time WNBA All-Star and four-time Olympic gold medalist Tamika Catchings, three-time NCAA National Championship Coach Kim Mulkey, five-time Division II National Coach of the Year Barbara Stevens, four-time collegiate National Coach of the Year Eddie Sutton and two-time NBA Champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich. 

Watch as Garnett talks Bryant, winning in Boston, and more:

Doncic on Mavericks: ‘We been playing good lately’

Throughout this season, the Dallas Mavericks have been trying to find their rhythm, which has been difficult due to injuries and issues with health and safety protocols. 

However, Dallas(23-19) is healthy at this point and has a full squad. The Mavericks are 15-6 in the last 21 games, including Wednesday night’s 128-108 road win against the Minnesota Timberwolves(10-34).

Kristaps Portzingis, who led the Mavericks with 29 points on Wednesday night, believes the game against the Timberwolves was a must-win situation, which he discussed after the game

“A must-win because if we want to be the type of team that we think in our mind we can be, then these games are must-wins,” Porzingis said. “Obviously, you slip, and anything can happen, and the other team can have a great game, but these are the type of games that we cannot let slip and not get the W, so we took care of business tonight.”

Dallas is now seventh in the Western Conference. Ideally, they want to get to at least the sixth spot to avoid being in the Play-in games. Before Thursday’s action, Dallas was 2.5 games behind Portland for that sixth seed.

Luka Doncic, who had 15 points against Minnesota on Wednesday night, believes Dallas is playing well, but he thinks they can be better.

“We been playing good lately,” he said. “Like I said, we can still improve. There’s still a long way to go.”

There is still a lot of basketball left for the Mavericks. However, they should be happy about the way they are playing right now.

Dallas hosts the Pacers on Friday night before heading out on a five-game road trip starting Saturday against the Pelicans.

Notes:

On Thursday, Dallas acquired J.j. Redick and Nicolo Melli from the Pelicans for James Johnson, Wes Iwundu, and a second-round pick.