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