Only twenty-four hours after the free agency market opened, the Jazz decided to exchange Rudy Gobert for Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler’s draft rights, and more, all of the Timberwolves. But, with so much value heading in the opposite direction, have Minnesota taken a gamble with Gobert?
If you look back at the Timberwolves’ history in the sport, having been formed in 1989, it does not scream success. They’ve had a winning record on nine occasions and only made the postseason once. A lot of good that came the Wolves’ way was thanks to MVP Kevin Garnett, but still, they couldn’t do the business.
However, in 21/22, things started to pick up, and heading into this season, the Wolves appear to be moving in the right direction, as reflected by the competitive basketball markets available at betting operators.
To build on the momentum generated last season, Minnesota moved quickly to acquire the services of Rudy Gobert. But, because they’re not a team that can naturally attract star talent, they’ve had to give up a hell of a lot to make it happen.
And this is where the concerns come into play due to criticism levied at how things have been run at the club for a number of years. In the eyes of many, it’s seen as a gamble and one that could backfire spectacularly.
There is no doubting Gobert’s talent. In terms of defensive output, he’s one of the best around, and not just on occasion but consistently. And, if there’s an area in which Minnesota needed to improve based on seasons gone by, it is defensive rebounding, and in other similar phases, which Gobert will help improve immeasurably. If any franchise is looking for a player with supreme defensive abilities, then Gobert will be at the top of most lists.
What Gobert also adds is that he’s used to playing for a franchise of a similar stature and was keen to join the Wolves. So, you could say it’s very much a match made in heaven on that front too. If you’re looking for a fit, he’s perfect, as he knows how Minnesota will operate and what’s expected of him and them. There have never been any concerns on this front, and it’s not this part of the deal that many think is ultimately a gamble by the Timberwolves’ hierarchy.
But, because Gobert’s arrival, although into what appears to be the strongest Minnesota group for many years, doesn’t guarantee success, if things don’t go to plan, people will point fingers at the exchange made to take him from the Jazz in the first place. You can’t help but feel that there must be an apparent return in the Wolves’ favor if people are to give the thumbs up to the mountain of players and picks that went in the opposite direction.