ESPN reported Friday that the Utah Jazz have traded star center Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for four first-round draft picks and multiple players.
This comes in similar fashion to the San Antonio Spurs blockbuster trade Wednesday that sent All-Star guard Dejounte Murray and center Jock Landale to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for three first-round picks, a future first-round draft swap, and forward Danilo Gallinari.
Some reports indicated Thursday that the Jazz could also be looking to ship All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell in order to prep for a complete rebuild, though ESPN refuted these rumors following the Gobert trade, saying that Utah wants to build the roster around the 25-year-old instead.
Could one of these building blocks come through an attempt to go after coveted 2023 draft prospect Victor Wembanyama? The 18-year-old forward went No. 1 overall in 2023 mock drafts from ESPN, FanSided, NBA Draft Room, plus many more. And that's only beginning to scratch the surface.
The Jazz haul of four first-round draft picks in exchange for Gobert is hard for the Spur Along with a high spot in the lottery for two teams that could be rebuilding, these picks could be used by either team in an attempt to trade up in the draft for Wembanyama. Interestingly enough, the Jazz could hypothetically replace Gobert with a prospect he's mentored in the past.
In 2020, the two Frenchmen were seen playing 2-on-2 in a video that went viral. The 7-3 Wembanyama, who was just 16 at the time, made Gobert look smaller than his 7-1 frame and was able to score on the three-time Defensive Player of the Year with little difficulty.
We're still a full NBA season away from the 2023 draft, but the moves made by both the Jazz and Spurs could signal bigger plans in mind for a prospect that could be receiving pre-draft hype that hasn't been seen since LeBron James.
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