Rudy Gobert, the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, has established himself as one of the most skilled defensive floor-raisers in the modern-day NBA. Excelling under the guidance and system of Quinn Snyder, the Stifle Tower has failed to replicate his heroics from Utah with his newest team Minnesota Timberwolves. This has resulted in Hall of Famer Charles Barkley officially coining his trade as the ‘worst-ever’ in the league’s history.
Charles with no remorse
While Rudy Gobert was brought into the Timberwolves to solidify the team’s position and authority in the Western Conference, Karl Anthony Towns’ injury has only highlighted the voids in the Frenchman's game.
Barkley said, “The (Minnesota)Timberwolves made the worst trade (referring to Rudy Gobert) in NBA history... That was so stupid that trade."
How has Rudy Gobert’s stint with the Timberwolves been thus far?
Gobert was acquired by the Wolves to improve their status as a playoff-caliber team, for which they even sacrificed their future draft options. On the other hand, Utah Jazz, who chose a plan of rebuilding over chasing a championship, not only beat them rigorously (126-125) in their most recent encounter but also are looking like a much better side that is only going to improve in the upcoming season.
The French Rejection might be averaging 13.3 points per game, which is higher than his career average but is the lowest amongst the previous 6 seasons he has spent in Utah (the lowest being 13.5 points per game).
Barkley’s comments do raise a valid point as the Utah Jazz have walked out as an unquestionable winner in the Rudy Gobert trade. While the Timberwolves are even struggling currently, they have no option left, at least for the next 6 years of the draft.
Moreover, Timberwolves sacrificed their 2022 first-round pick - Walker Kessler, who is now putting up 20-20 games for the Utah Jazz and is among the league leaders for blocks in the 2022-23 season.