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What If the Jazz Decided to Trade Rudy Gobert?

Shams recently reported that Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert’s relationship “does not appear salvageable”. Rudy Gobert later downplayed the accusation.

With no basketball going on right now, might as well make the aggregation community proud and start talking about trade rumors, right? In today’s league, a new unsuspected superstar hits the trade block every year, but I would have never guessed there was even a chance that Gobert and Mitchell could get shopped.  

In all likelihood, Utah will downplay that they are shopping either while they are secretly (not so secretly) taking calls on them. I highly doubt they’d end up moving Mitchell, so the idea would probably be to create a bidding war for Gobert. 

For the sake of fun though, let’s look at what some potential Gobert trades could look like.

Trade 1:

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Boston surprised the league this year by having one the best defenses in the league.  Many thought the lack of a rim protecting big would cause their defense to be no better than average.  Turns out, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Marcus Smart provide such elite wing defense that pairing them with a smart center, like Daniel Theis, was enough for them to be elite on that end.  

However, they still would be under-matched against the elite bigs in the league. Because they are very deep at the wing position, it makes some sense to swap out a wing for an elite defender like Gobert. This deal allows Utah to bring back Smart, who will play a very similar role in Utah, Enes Kanter to provide solid spot minutes at center, a young prospect with upside in Romeo Langford, and some draft picks. Smart allows Utah to not be hurt too badly by the loss of Gobert, while the other pieces help to make up some of what is lost.

A deal could also be structured around sending Gordon Hayward back to Utah with a lot of draft picks attached. I would think that Utah would like to go younger though.

Trade 2:

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This deal is not legal until the new league year, but it would make both sides happy. Utah replaces Gobert with a solid option still on his rookie contract in Jarrett Allen, and they add some shot creation in Caris LeVert.  LeVert has a deep injury history, but Utah would have the luxury of using him as a sixth-man due to their forward/guard depth. He could play less minutes and he would be surrounded by excellent spot-up shooters – he would flourish in this role.  

There still is a lot of risk that comes with LeVert though, so the Nets would have to attach some draft capital. Philly’s pick will fall in the 20s this year and the Atlanta second round pick will likely be in the 40s; that’s appropriate value to even out this trade.

Trade 3:

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This is another deal that becomes legal next league year. If Portland was looking to go all-in this deal makes a lot of sense for both sides. Utah ends up with the lesser of the two starting centers and because of this, they bring back significant youth in Zach Collins, Anfernee Simons, and Portland’s 2020 first.  

Utah takes a step back in overall star power, but they make up that value by gaining depth and youth. Collins projects to be a more than capable third big or okay option for a second big, while Simons gives the Jazz another scorer off the bench who is very young and has significant room to grow. Jusuf Nurkic, Collins, and Simons are solid pieces that lack high upside, so the 2020 Portland first is necessary to provide additional value. The pick will be a lottery pick and could realistically jump into the top-4.

Make your own trade at https://tradenba.com/

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Chandler Harper
Former college basketball player at LaGrange College. NBA writer and basketball trainer.

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