All within a 24-hour window, we got Kevin Durant requesting a trade from Brooklyn and the Utah Jazz finally breaking up their core and moving Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Before we get into all that, though, we need to take a second and get a feel for where we’re at with this deal here. Gobert to the Timberwolves shakes things up quite a bit in the Western Conference.
The Jazz get: Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler and Jarred Vanderbilt along with the Wolves’ 2023, 2025 and 2027 1st round picks without protection.
There’s really not too much more you can ask for from this deal with the Jazz. They don’t really have to start over — they got a full rotation of players in Beasley, Beverley and Vanderbilt here along with a solid prospect in Walker.
But if they wanted to just tear it down to the studs and build anew, they can do that, too. What they traded for essentially amounts to five draft picks starting with Kessler, who was a 1st round pick this year.
On top of that, they’ve got four future draft picks with 3 of them being unprotected. In just 24 hours, they’ve amassed 6 1sts between this deal and the Royce O’Neale trade.
The Timberwolves could be good throughout the next 4 years of Gobert’s contract — that’s what they’re banking on. But anytime you have unprotected picks on the table it’s a terrifying proposition.
So, regardless of how things shake out on the Wolves’ end, the Jazz made out spectacularly well. They now have direction and that’s always a good thing.
The Wolves have certainly improved their starting rotation by getting a perineal Defensive Player of the Year candidate and lining him up next to Karl-Anthony Towns.
Towns also gets to play the perimeter a lot more and doesn’t have to be the lynchpin of the Wolves’ defense — something he’s incapable of doing.
There are also other moves they can make here to continue to bolster their roster — moving D’Angelo Russell is the obvious one that hasn’t come to pass yet.
Malik Beasley isn’t the defender they are, but he’s a scoring wing. That has value in the NBA and those players are hard to come by.