Worst Trade Ever? Utah Jazz Fleece The Minnesota Timberwolves In Trade
It was only a couple of days ago that the NBA world was told to keep your eye on the Utah Jazz. "Something is happening in Utah," they said. Shortly after the cryptic warning, Jazz All-Star Center, and three time winner of the Defensive Player Of The Year, Rudy Gobert was reportedly traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a massive deal.
Now, the move has some NBA experts saying it was the worst trade of all-time. FS1's Nick Wright said on his show First Things First that not only could it be the worst trade in NBA history, but maybe sports history. He just couldn't commit to that because he's not very familiar with trades in the NHL. Can't blame him there. That's a different story.
The Jazz traded to Minnesota in a massive blockbuster deal. The deal reportedly includes five players and five picks. Huge. According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Timberwolves receive Rudy Gobert and the Jazz will be receiving Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, a 2023 first-round pick, a 2025 first-round pick, a 2026 pick swap, a 2027 first-round pick, and a 2029 first-round pick that's protected.
That is a huge package for a single player. Granted, he's a three time Defensive Player of the Year. He's no scrub. The problem? That's a huge trade even for a player like Kevin Durant. Walker Kessler was a first-round pick just weeks ago, so that's almost like adding another first-round pick to the deal.
Not only is it a lot of picks and great capital for the future, the players involved could be great additions, as well. Malik Beasley has a ton of potential. We know Pat Bev can be a menace and great grit guy. As we just pointed out, Kessler was a first-round pick just a few weeks ago.
Pairing Rudy Gobert with a player like Karl-Anthony Towns will be great for the Minnesota defense. It's going to be hard to get points in the paint with those two seven-footers in the lane.
The biggest problem I see? Rudy Gobert isn't an offensive threat. He isn't a Center like Shaq where he's going to put up 40 points a game for you in the playoffs. Gobert will get you rebounds, defense, and maybe 12 points. That's what you're looking at. So, it's going to put a lot of pressure on Anthony Edwards and KAT to put up points. Add to it, they got rid of some key pieces of their bench and role players. They are really investing and putting a lot on Gobert's shoulders.
It has been a very busy offseason for the Utah Jazz. Just days ago, we were wondering what Brian Windhorst meant when he was very coy about what's happening in Salt Lake City with the Jazz. Then the pieces started coming together. It started with the team trading Royce O'Neale to the Brooklyn Nets for a first round pick. Not long after that, Gobert was traded for many pieces and picks. Now, the attention turns to All-Star and the face of the franchise, Donovan Mitchell.
It has been reported and speculated for a while that he wants out of Utah. He's been spotted in New York going to baseball games there. He's been rumored to have interest in Miami. However, as of now, nothing official has been said from him on the matter.
Meanwhile, Danny Ainge and the Jazz have said their plan is to build around Donovan Mitchell. The question is...do we believe them? It's been pretty clear for a while now that Mitchell doesn't really want to be there. They say they want to build around him, but is the best way to do that trading Rudy Gobert away for future picks? It sort of seems like they're starting fresh.
It's worth noting the NBA All-Star Game will be in Salt Lake City this year. That's big and it's important for the Jazz to have a home town player representing them in the game. Having just traded away Rudy Gobert, the only real chance of that happening is with Donovan Mitchell. It is very possible they're just going to hang onto Mitchell until the All-Star game, let his stock rise, and then trade him to a contender.
He still has years left on a recent extension, but if he doesn't want to be in the building, it's time to move on and take all you can get to trade him. Pair that with what you got in the Gobert trade, and you're sitting very pretty. That's a great start for a rebuild. Going to give the Oklahoma City Thunder and their stockpile of picks a run for their money.
Before all of this even really began, the offseason started with the Jazz by their head coach of the last 8 years, Quin Snyder, walking away. There were rumors he was going to be pursued by teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, but nothing ever happened there. Then, soon after that he walked away. Interesting decision. The team had made the playoffs consistently, and were often one of the best performing teams in the regular season, they just couldn't get the job done when it mattered. Could Snyder have seen this rebuild coming? Maybe he wanted no part in that mess and decided to wave the white flag early.
Regardless, this week, the Jazz hired Will Hardy to be their new head coach. Hardy has spent time with the San Antonio Spurs and Boston Celtics during their recent run to the NBA Finals. Learning from Coach Popovich is a great mentor, one of the best in the game. The Celtics had success last season. There's a lot to be optimistic about with Coach Hardy.
It was an ugly start to the offseason for the Jazz, after being eliminated in the playoffs earlier than they had hoped, yet again, and then their coach leaving. However, things seem to be turning around. Now we're all left wondering...what's going to happen next? Is Donovan Mitchell on his way out? Will someone else be joining the team as Mitchell's number two? We're on the edge of our seats.
For more on the Utah Jazz and their dramatic offseason, keep scrolling.