SALT LAKE CITY — The Rudy Gobert era in Utah has officially ended. Nicknamed the "Stifle Tower" because of his dominance on defense and French ancestry, he's bound for Minnesota to join superstar Karl-Anthony Towns as a Timberwolf.
ESPN's Adrian Wojarnowski was first to report the All-Star center was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for the following:
- Patrick Beverley
- Malik Beasley
- Walker Kesller
- Jarred Vanderbilt
- Leando Bolmaro
- Minnesota's 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029 first-round draft picks
The first of the three draft picks are unprotected, while the 2029 selection is top-5 protected, Wojnarowski tweeted.
Since the disappointing end to last season at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the NBA Playoffs, the Jazz were expected to reconfigure their roster. Gobert, 30, was long considered to be the one most likely to be traded over fellow All-Star Donovan Mitchell.
Selected with the No. 27 overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft, Gobert became a full-time started during 2015-16 season. Since then, the center has become one of the most dominant defensive players in the league, having been named the NBA's Defensive Player of the Year three times.
During his eight year career, Gobert has been named an All-Star three times while earning All-NBA Second Team honors in 2017, and the led the NBA in rebounds per game for 2021-22.
While consistently putting up winning seasons, Gobert and the Jazz were never able to advance past the second round of the playoffs.
Gobert drew criticism during the early days of COVID-19 when he made light of the oncoming pandemic just one day before becoming the first NBA player to test positive. His relationship with Mitchell seemed strained at times, though the players always downplayed talks of conflict.
The deal for multiple players and draft picks signals additional moves could be on the horizon, including a possible trade of Mitchell, as the Jazz enter a new era with lead executive Danny Ainge and new head coach Will Hardy.
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