The Minnesota Timberwolves could aim to become a better defensive unit in the offseason by trading for Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz. Gobert is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year winner who reportedly wants out of the only team he’s ever played for in the NBA.
After three seasons without playoff basketball, the Timberwolves finally got into the postseason this year, but endured a bitter loss to the Memphis Grizzlies. Having the French superstar in the lineup could lessen Karl-Anthony Towns’ defensive responsibilities.
Kevin O’Connor, on an episode of “The Mismatch,” had this to say on the rumors involving Gobert:
“There’s a lot of Rudy Gobert stuff out there. The Chicago stuff has been out there. I’ve heard Minnesota likes Rudy Gobert, they also like Clint Capela.”
In the playoff exit against Memphis, Minnesota had several sizable leads in four out of the six games in the series but eventually squandered them. An argument could be made that they could have easily taken a 3-1 lead if their defense held up.
If defense is where they want to spend this offseason, Gobert is easily one of the best that they can add to the lineup.
Despite all the flak against Gobert’s defense in the playoffs, he’s been one of the best interior defenders the league has seen. He also brings plenty of rebounding and can translate many of those caroms into points.
The three-time All-Star led the league in rebounding last season with 14.7 RPG and field-goal percentage with 71.8%.
NBA Rumors: Is Rudy Gobert a good fit for the Minnesota Timberwolves?
The Boston Celtics just finished an incredible season featuring a two-big lineup that defied what the NBA has been using over the last several years. Boston’s pairing of Al Horford and Robert Williams III was crucial in providing the Celtics with excellent play on both ends of the ball.
Perhaps head coach Chris Finch will see the same thing if Rudy Gobert shares the floor with Karl-Anthony Towns in the future. Like Horford, KAT has been known to do plenty of damage from the outside, which will limit spacing problems when they are playing together.
Having Gobert in the interior will also help ease Towns’ defensive burden. The Minnesota Timberwolves big man has been known to gamble on defense, often compromising his role as the team’s anchor. Gobert could plug many of those defensive holes like he has done on numerous occasions for the Utah Jazz.
Getting the French superstar isn’t going to be easy or cheap, though. The Minnesota Timberwolves may have to at least give up D’Angelo Russell if a trade pushes through. Minnesota’s 19th and three second-round picks could also be part of talks between the two teams for Gobert to exit Utah.