Against all odds, or almost, the wolves completed yesterday one of the biggest exchanges in their history, if not the biggest: the arrival of Rudy Gobert from Jazz, to form a pair of experimental interiors with Karl-Anthony Towns.
Unfamiliar with this kind of transaction, the Minneapolis franchise nevertheless surprised by being aggressive on the transfer market. All without separating from Karl-Anthony Towns, but also Anthony Edwards, D’Angelo Russell and Jaden McDaniels, all called to accompany Rudy Gobert in the starting lineup.
In the end, to recover the triple Defender of the Year and triple All-Star pivot, Minnesota was content to let go of Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Walker Kessler, Leandro Bolmaro and five (!) future first rounds of the Draft . A real gamble taken by Tim Connelly, the team’s new president of basketball operations, who wants to solve local defensive problems.
Behind the scenes, however, the task was far from easy, because the Jazz proved to be tough during the negotiations, having of course no interest in “offering” Rudy Gobert. Especially since he is under a guaranteed contract until 2025 and is in the prime of life (30 years old), in addition to being complementary to Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, D’Angelo Russell and fellow Jaden McDaniels.
Rudy Gobert was Wolves’ priority
Thus, The Athletic reports that the leaders of Utah have done everything to recover the promising Jaden McDaniels in the deal. Except their Minnesota counterparts resisted, so much so that a deal seemed in jeopardy last week.
However, when he arrived at the helm of the franchise, Tim Connelly had received the green light from his owners (Glen Taylor, Alex Rodriguez and Marc Lore) to draw on the transfer market. Immediately targeting Rudy Gobert, a player he had drafted (then traded) in 2013, when he worked for the Nuggets.
Finally, rather than parting ways with Jaden McDaniels, Tim Connelly chose to expand the list of Draft picks sent to Salt Lake City. Condition sine qua non to satisfy Danny Ainge and consorts, eager to break up their group, but not at any price. On all fronts, in order not to end up with nothing, the Wolves have also started to turn to Myles Turner (Pacers) and Clint Capela (Hawks), while testing the ground for Dejounte Murray (Spurs) and … Kevin Durant (Net).
Except that in Minnesota, Rudy Gobert remained the priority of the leaders, because we imagine him capable of maximizing the potential of all the players around him. Starting with that of Karl-Anthony Towns, who approved the transfer, while “Gobzilla” was excited and delighted at the idea of playing with “KAT” under the panels of his future new team.
The only downside: the small market of Minneapolis will most likely pay the “luxury tax” from 2024, due to the XXL contracts of the Towns / Gobert pair and the future expensive extension of Anthony Edwards, to name a few. . The price to pay if one wishes to claim the NBA title, as precisely hoped for by the franchise with such move.
It remains to be seen whether the association between Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert will be synonymous with success for Chris Finch’s men. In any case, they will have no choice, because the Draft will no longer be an option for this group in the 2020s…