After making the playoffs via the Play-In Tournament a season ago, it seems like the Minnesota Timberwolves were one of the rising teams in the Western Conference.
Then, they went out this offseason and made a move that many around the league questioned.
The Timberwolves decided to trade for All-Star center Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz and he did not come at a low price.
Giving up four first-round picks, one first-round pick swap, Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro and rookie Walker Kessler, many are looking back on this trade right now and criticizing the Timberwolves.
As a result of this trade, Minnesota has just two outright first-round picks through 2029, they don’t have much of a young core outside of Anthony Edwards and Jaden McDaniels and now, there are major question marks about the future of D’Angelo Russell since he is in the final year of his contract.
To make matters worse for Minnesota, Rudy Gobert has not played like his former All-Star self.
In a total of 39 games this year, the now 10-year veteran is averaging 13.3 points, 11.5 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game. His points per game average is the lowest it has been since the 2015-16 season, his rebounding average is the lowest it has been since the 2017-18 season and his 1.3 blocks per game are the lowest since his rookie season!
On Utah’s side of things, they made out perfectly in this trade. They not only fortified their draft capital for the next decade, but the Jazz have received great production from both Jarred Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley as well, two players they could look to flip again ahead of the trade deadline for more future value.
Rookie center Walker Kessler has also stepped up in recent weeks and is looking like the perfect replacement for Gobert in Utah.
In a total of 44 games this season, Kessler is averaging 7.5 points, 7.2 rebounds and 2.0 blocks per game. Not to mention, Walker Kessler is averaging 10.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per game since the start of the new year.
Maybe things will change once Karl-Anthony Towns returns from his injury for the Timberwolves, but as things stand right now, Minnesota is in trouble directly because of this trade.
Utah is currently ahead of them in the standings and long-term, the Timberwolves may have doomed themselves if this Gobert-Towns frontcourt does not work out the way they had imagined.
So is this the most lopsided trade ever made in NBA history?
Maybe not quite yet, but every game Rudy Gobert continues to struggle and every game this young Utah Jazz team grows, this trade from this past offseason looks worse and worse for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
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