NBA Experts Shocked by What Wolves Gave Up for Rudy Gobert

Photo: Kevork Djansezian – Getty Images

The Minnesota Timberwolves shocked the NBA world on Friday when they traded away FOUR future 1st round picks, this year’s #19 overall pick, and most of their bench for Utah Jazz center, Rudy Gobert. Tim Connelly & Co have been chasing centers on the market for weeks so the move didn’t come as a complete surprise.

What did catch many off guard, however, was the price Minnesota was willing to pay for Gobert. New President of Basketball Operations, Tim Connelly, sent FIVE 1st round picks (including Kessler) and a 1st round pick swap in 2026, in return for another All-Star caliber big man who has already hit 30-years-old. For many, that was seen as an overpay.

ESPN NBA Experts Critical of Gobert Trade

This sentiment was all over Twitter on Friday evening but ESPN’s Zach Lowe and Bobby Marks really showed off their shock (and disappointment) on “NBA Today”, immediately following the trade announcement.

“I am in disbelief at the amount of draft picks the Minnesota Timberwolves traded for Rudy Gobert. Disbelief. He is a Hall of Famer. He’s 30, he has four years left on a gigantic contract. And we have seen in the playoffs, his defense is not been the issue. It’s that he can’t do anything on offense when teams go small against you.” – Zach Lowe (ESPN)

“You get one shot at this, if you’re Minnesota. You get one shot to trade picks or use cap space to get a 3rd guy to put next to Edwards and Towns. I’m in shock that they decided this was going to be their shot. FIVE picks and a swap for Gobert. You can tell me they kept Jaden McDaniels. That’s great, I hope you keep Jaden McDaniels if you’re giving up FIVE picks and a swap.” – Zach Lowe (ESPN)

I don’t think this is a top-4 team in the Western Conference. Can it get there? I mean, this Western Conference is a bear. I applaud Tim Connelly’s aggressiveness. He sees a window to take advantage of. But, the question, is Rudy Gobert the right guy for Karl-Anthony Towns, as far as building it out? Because now you have nothing left except Towns, Gobert and Anthony Edwards. – Bobby Marks (ESPN)

What Gives?

It’s been reported out of Utah that the Timberwolves were forced to send more draft capital than what would normally have been required because the Jazz “badly wanted Jaden McDaniels” included in the deal and Connelly refused.

In other words, the Wolves were intent on landing Gobert and keeping McDaniels. Consequently, they had to give up additional draft picks to get it done. Only time will tell on whether or not that decision, along with trading for Gobert, will be worth it.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan