Rudy Gobert is one of the best defensive players in the league, if not the outright best. He is an elite rim protector and rebounder, and often, his presence near the rim is enough to deter opposing players from trying to finish at the basket. During the 2021-22 season, Rudy Gobert averaged 15.6 PPG, 14.7 RPG, and 1.1 APG.
This summer, Rudy Gobert was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves. The trade was one of the biggest of this offseason, with the Minnesota Timberwolves giving up five players and five picks for the center. Some NBA executives have even suggested that it was an overpay that upped the price on other star players on the trade market.
When you talk to executives around the league, they always point to that Gobert trade as a trade that messed up the market. Several executives I spoke to felt that Minnesota overpaid to get Gobert… That’s one of the reasons it took a while with the Donovan Mitchell trade talks. Once the market was set for Gobert, Utah wanted to get equal to that or better for Mitchell.
There is no doubt that this sort of move shows that the Minnesota Timberwolves think that their core is ready to win now. It seems as though some people agree with the notion that the team will take the next step with this addition.
Kevin Garnett And Paul Pierce Think This Trade Was Good For The Timberwolves
On a recent episode of the KG Certified podcast, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce discussed the Minnesota Timberwolves moving for Rudy Gobert. Both stars seemed to agree that this was an overall good move for the franchise, though Garnett did note that they had to give up a lot to make the move happen.
Kevin Garnett: You like the Rudy Gobert to Minnesota move?
Paul Pierce: I think they ain't going to be no 7 or 8 seed. I think they're going to be a top-4 seed... Rudy Gobert is going to shore up their defense now. They couldn't defend. They had a hard time guarding Memphis in the fourth quarter... Memphis scored every time down.
Kevin Garnett: Decision-making too... KAT gotta mature in his decision-making... They gave away a lot to get Rudy Gobert... Vanderbilt, Beverley, some of those real personalities/defenders. I get it. They got somebody that can change the whole mechanism of them.
There is no doubt that the Minnesota Timberwolves could be one of the best teams in the Western Conference next season. They had a playoff team without Rudy Gobert during the 2021-22 season, and his addition will make them a powerhouse.
Of course, the Minnesota Timberwolves are only a good team on paper currently, and they will need to gel as a unit to truly achieve success. Hopefully, we will see the team end up making a deep run next year, and there is a chance that they could reach the Finals.