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Have the Timberwolves lost the plot with Gobert trade?

Gobert traded to Timberwolves

After weeks of rumors, the Utah Jazz have finally traded star center Rudy Gobert. He will be heading to the Minnesota Timberwolves for a package including five role players and four first-round picks. NBA analysts have panned this move on Minnesota’s side, as it appears they have vastly overpaid for a player who is considered elite defensively but a liability on offense.

Gobert has been an NBA All-Star in each of the last three seasons and has three Defensive Player of the Year awards. While that all seems like he is an elite player, Gobert has frequently been exposed on both sides of the court in the playoffs and it remains to be seen if he can be relied on when it matters most. Gobert still has a lot left in the tank at 30 years old, but players his size rarely age well and his lack of jump-shooting ability has hindered his play in the past.

Also, it feels like a weird fit in Minnesota where Gobert will line up next to Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns is an elite offensive big man, but having two seven-footers on the court at the same time has been phased out of today’s NBA. Regardless, it looks like Minnesota will zig while everyone zags and try to outmuscle teams with their two big men down low.

Minnesota are building something interesting and Gobert could work well for them. They had problems defensively last year, so this trade should help them improve on that front. The questions will come offensively, but with Towns and Anthony Edwards they have all the talent in the world.

Minnesota are now +2000 with Bovada to win the Western Conference, and we don’t hate that number. If the best-case scenario happens with this trade and Edwards continues to improve, the Timberwolves will be a very good team. They did lose a lot of their depth as a result of this trade, but they will be able to replace them with relative ease. We wouldn’t recommend betting on the Wolves, because the best-case scenario will likely not happen; if it does, however, this is a good number to get them at.

Overall, this trade was a clear overspend on Minnesota’s side, but we can see why they were tempted to add Gobert. On his best day, he is one of the best defenders in the league, but he has been exposed in the past. The Wolves are being aggressive with their young core and we cannot fault them for that. However, it is risky and Gobert’s history could make this trade one that sets Minnesota back quite a few years due to the sheer amount of picks they gave to the Jazz.

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