Rudy Gobert is one of the best centers in the NBA right now. The two-time Defensive Player of the Year has proved his worth in Utah, helping the team be a perennial playoff team. However, chemistry issues halted the team’s upward trajectory, as they blew a 3-1 lead to the Denver Nuggets in the Playoffs. Despite that, Gobert’s efforts were appreciated.
Utah is coming closer to the expiration date for their duo of Gobert and Donovan Mitchell. After their reported rift due to Gobert giving Mitchell COVID-19, there have been a lot of trade talks. Considering Mitchell is younger and fits the mold for the modern NBA offense, he is the main piece in Utah.
Gobert is nearing his next contract extension, where he is eligible for the super-max contract. Considering Utah is unwilling to give him that massive contract, what are their options with Rudy on the trade market? ESPN’s Zach Lowe has spoken about the same.
NBA offseason mega-preview: https://t.co/Bu4dJ9Wywm
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) November 5, 2020
Lowe reports possible Rudy Gobert trades to the Dallas Mavericks, the Boston Celtics, and even the LA Clippers may be on the table for Utah. But which one of these is the best option for the defensive stalwart?
Rudy Gobert joining a team gunning for the title?
Gobert to the Mavs would be the blockbuster defensive move they need to push for a title. However, the fit on the floor with both Porzingis and Gobert seems untenable. Along with that, Dallas will have to pay Gobert, even though they gave Porzingis a massive extension last season.
While this may work as a temporary move, the long-term future of a Dallas team with Porzingis, Luka Doncic, and Rudy Gobert doesn’t seem very practical.
The Boston Celtics on the other hand may be the perfect fit. It is a team heavy on guard play and painfully weak at the center spot. They also have a lot of picks to offer Utah. But this means that Boston will have to part with Marcus Smart at the minimum to make this happen. Whether Boston wants to trade away their motor is up to them, but Gobert would be the perfect piece in the middle for this championship ready Celtics.
The Clippers is the most exciting move. Considering Kawhi Leonard and Paul George could very well leave next season, Gobert may provide some stability in a situation like that. Either way, trading Gobert to LA would be the way the Clips improves their team. However, one cannot say that Utah will be willing to accept Ivica Zubac as the main returning piece of the trade.
Wherever Gobert goes, he will compete. That much is for certain. The only question is whether he will still compete alongside Donovan Mitchell in Utah.
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