NBA trade grades: Why the Wolves gave up a draft haul for Rudy Gobert
- Co-author, Pro Basketball Prospectus series
- Formerly a consultant with the Indiana Pacers
- Developed WARP rating and SCHOENE system
Does pairing Rudy Gobert with fellow All-Star Karl-Anthony Towns make sense for the Minnesota Timberwolves?
In a shocking move reported Friday by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Gobert is going from the Utah Jazz to Minnesota in exchange for four players, the rights to first-round pick Walker Kessler and an incredible four first-round picks.
Say this for Tim Connelly’s first big move since leaving the Denver Nuggets to become president of the Timberwolves: It’s one of the biggest swings we’ve seen in recent NBA history. That starts with the idea of pairing two of the four centers to receive All-NBA votes last season. Either Gobert or Towns — though not both — has made an All-NBA team every season since 2016-17, with Gobert accounting for four of those selections and Towns contributing two.
How well might the supersized pairing of Gobert and Towns work during both the regular season and the playoffs? And what’s next for the Jazz after they made the decision to trade their anchor during a run of six consecutive playoff trips?
Let’s break down the massive stakes for Friday’s blockbuster deal.
Grading the biggest trades during free agency
Four first-round picks
Minnesota Timberwolves: D
In theory, I’m intrigued by the idea of Minnesota moving Towns to power forward during the regular season.
Once we get to the playoffs, though, is another story.
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