The Minnesota Timberwolves pushed all their chips onto the middle of the proverbial table after trading a whole host of first-round picks for arguably the best defensive center of the modern era in Rudy Gobert. This means the Wolves will experiment with a two-big lineup in an era of the NBA where every team is trying to get smaller.
To accommodate Gobert, KAT will go back to his college days and play power forward next to a defensive-minded center. The difference is that in college, his partner was Willie Caulie-Stein, and now he has the man that has won 3 out of the last 5 DPOY trophies.
Both Gobert and KAT are on a small list of elite centers in the NBA and are going to be on the same team. Both men have been signed to incredible contracts, making the Wolves responsible for $430 million owed to both men over their existing contract lengths. In 2022-23 alone, the Wolves will pay $71 million to this duo.
It is very hard to argue over whether Minnesota can succeed with KAT and Gobert taking $70+ million out of the team's cap space every season. We need to see this lineup on the floor together and understand how much Gobert has raised the defensive floor of this Wolves team.
Considering the quality defenders Minnesota lost in the trade, like Jarred Vanderbilt, they will also hope to make some signings to shore up the perimeter before giving Gobert the same issues Utah gave him on a new team.
KAT can finally focus on being the offensive talent he is with Gobert taking charge of the defensive responsibilities on the squad. Some fast-paced lineups can be played with the intention to frustrate the Wolves' defense, but how Chris Finch gameplans this unique duo of KAT and Gobert will make all the difference in the world.