SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The Utah Jazz have traded 3-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for multiple players and first-round picks, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
In return, the Jazz are receiving Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro and four first round draft picks in the deal.
Gobert has spent his entire nine-year NBA career with the Utah Jazz. He was the 27th overall selection in the 2013 NBA Draft and turned into the best rim protector in the NBA.
Last season, Gobert led the NBA in rebounds (14.7) and field goal perdentage (71.3%) while also averaging 15.6 points and 2.1 blocks. Over his NBA career, Gobert has averaged 12.4 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per contest.
Gobert posted a message on social media to the Jazz fans.
“Utah!!! I was just a kid from France when I got here 9 years ago,” Gobert wrote. “But I felt embraced and supported since day one. I’ve grown as a man and as a player before your very eyes and i’m thankful from every single moment. Utah and its community will always have a special place in my heart. Thank you ! Forever grateful. The journey continue…”
Along with 2022 first round pick Walker Kessler, the T-Wolves are sending the Jazz its unprotected first round selections in 2023, 2025, 2027 and a top-5 protected first round selection in 2029. The Jazz will also swap first round picks with Minnesota in 2026, should the T-Wolves finish with a worse record.
Beasley, a 6-foot-4 wing player, has played six years in the NBA and is the biggest piece in the trade coming to Utah. Last season with the Timberwolves, he averaged 12.1 points and 2.9 rebounds per game, while shooting 39 percent from the field. After getting traded to Minnesota from Denver in 2020, Beasley averaged 20.7 points in 14 games for the T-Wolves. He averaged 19.6 points per game in the 2020-21 season.
Beverley, a 6-1 guard, is known as a defensive specialist. The 10-year NBA veteran has played for Houston, the L.A. Clippers and Minnesota. Last season, Beverley averaged 9.2 points, 4.6 assists and 4.1 rebounds per game.
Vanderbilt is a 6-9 power forward who has played for Denver and Minnesota since coming into the league out of the University of Kentucky in 2018. Last season, he averaged 6.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game.
Kessler was the 22nd overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies and was traded to Minnesota. He played at North Carolina as a freshman and at Auburn as a sophomore. The 7-foot-1 center led the nation in blocked shots last year at 4.6 per game.
Bolmaro was the 23rd overall selection in the 2020 NBA Draft out of Argentina. In his rookie season with the T-Wolves, the 6-foot-6 shooting guard averaged 1.1 points ans 1.2 rebounds in 35 games.
Gobert came to Utah out of France as a raw project, but rose to stardom with the Jazz, making the NBA All-Star Team three times. Gobert also has four All-NBA selections and six first-team All-Defensive selections.G
Gobert and fellow All-Star Donovan Mitchell became cornerstones of the franchise, but have never advanced past the second round of the NBA playoffs. The two stars have also had well-publicized issues off the court, and the Jazz chose to deal Gobert.
Having traded Gobert within the division, the Jazz will be forced to deal with Gobert at least four times a year now.
Reports say the Jazz do not intend to trade Mitchell and will build around him in the future. Utah acquired the Brooklyn Nets first round pick in 2023 in exchange for Royce O’Neale on Thursday. So including Kessler, they have acquired six first round picks in the last 24 hours.
As dominant as Gobert was for the Jazz in the regular season, his defensive prowess was negated in the last two playoff series losses to the Clippers and Dallas Mavericks with teams forcing him to leave the paint to guard three-point shooters.
Gobert, who just turned 30, is entering the second season of a five-year, $205 million contract and will now team with All-Star forward Karl-Anthony Towns and rising star Anthony Edwards to form a formidable front court for Minnesota.
On Tuesday, the Jazz hired Will Hardy as its new head coach, replacing Quin Snyder, who resigned after eight years at the helm.