This NBA offseason is going to be very interesting for the Utah Jazz not only because their season has ended in back-to-back years of playoff disappointment, but because their All-Star talents are being brought up in trade rumors.
Donovan Mitchell’s long-term future in Utah is in question right now even though he is just one year into a five-year, $163 million deal, and Rudy Gobert’s future is definitely in doubt as well, especially given that the All-Star center has been deemed a liability at times on the offensive-end of the floor.
Leading the league in rebounding this season and continuing to be one of the best rim-protectors in the NBA, Gobert is definitely a game-changing big man, but his style of play has conflicted at times with that of the Utah Jazz.
Not being a factor offensively outside of the paint, the Jazz have struggled at times in the postseason given that teams have looked to expose Gobert and push him out to the perimeter, almost having the Jazz play 4-on-5 at times.
Having four more years left on his contract and $169.6 million in total, the All-Star center is a prime trade candidate entering the offseason and Utah could look to move him in one of these three hypothetical trades.
Brooklyn Finally Fills Their Hole At Center
Utah Jazz Receive: G/F Ben Simmons
Brooklyn Nets Receive: C Rudy Gobert
For years now, the Brooklyn Nets have been looking to fill a void they have at the center position and finding ways to get better defensively must be a priority for them entering the offseason.
Ben Simmons could definitely elevate the Nets on that end of the floor, but does Brooklyn really want to be tied down to Simmons knowing that he is a major question mark?
Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving are in their primes right now and with them both not getting any younger, Brooklyn really needs to be living in the present rather than thinking about their long-term future. This organization is looking to win a championship right now, which is why going out and making a move for Rudy Gobert makes a ton of sense.
He is an established All-Star center already and while he has question marks attached to him on the offensive-end of the floor, Brooklyn would be the perfect spot for Gobert because he would not have to do anything more than rebound, block shots and finish off lobs to the rim from Durant and Irving, two of the better passers and playmakers in the league.
This is exactly the kind of “Big 3” the Nets need, especially since their frontcourt is the weakest part of their team.
Utah may not want to deal with the drama that comes with Ben Simmons either, but his style of play is intriguing to put next to Donovan Mitchell, especially since he could take a great deal of pressure off of Mitchell in terms of him being the team’s main scorer and ball-handler.
Say what you want about Simmons, but he is an elite-level defender when healthy and his playmaking for others on his team are some of the best in the league. A complete mismatch for his opponents standing 7-feet tall, Ben Simmons could actually work out on Utah’s roster.
This is a big risk for the Jazz to take, but at the end of the day, they are not going anywhere with Rudy Gobert right now and need to make some kind of a significant change. Simmons still has potential to grow offensively which is why he may be worth the risk in this scenario.
Jazz Add More Shooting/Scoring Depth
Utah Jazz Receive: G Bogdan Bogdanovic, C Clint Capela, CHA 2023 1st Round Pick (Top-16 Protected, via ATL)
Atlanta Hawks Receive: C Rudy Gobert
Much like the Utah Jazz, the Atlanta Hawks are entering the offseason searching for answers on how to surround their All-Star with championship-level pieces.
Trae Young and Donovan Mitchell are best friends, so maybe we could eventually see these two All-Star guards team up with one another down the road, but in this hypothetical offseason trade this year, Utah would be sending Rudy Gobert to Atlanta for Bogdan Bogdanovic, Clint Capela and a protected first-round pick next year.
While not biologically related to one another, pairing Bogdan Bogdanovic and Bojan Bogdanovic with each other in Utah would create a strong perimeter shooting brotherhood on the wing next to Mitchell, giving the Jazz the extra offensive boost they are currently lacking.
As for Capela, he would be Gobert’s replacement in Utah’s frontcourt and he is a pretty decent replacement. While he is not an All-Star, the Hawks’ center led the league in rebounding during the 2020-21 season and has played the same role Gobert has over the years in terms of being a pick-and-roll lob threat on offense for his team.
The Jazz would replace Rudy Gobert with an almost identical player in this scenario, while also adding another high-level perimeter scorer. Not to mention, adding a first-round pick in this trade gives Utah more chance to expand on their core moving forward.
Atlanta may not gain a ton from this trade, but they would drastically increase their defensive efficiency with Gobert in the paint and they would have the ability to go out and look to shed Danilo Gallinari’s $21.4 million contract for next season, saving them some cap space and tax money in the process.
Knicks Add An All-Star Center
Utah Jazz Receive: G/F Evan Fournier, G/F Alec Burks, F Cam Reddish, NYK 2024 1st Round Pick (Top-10 Protected)
New York Knicks Receive: C Rudy Gobert
The New York Knicks have been searching for an All-Star-level talent to add to their roster for years. Numerous big names have been pursued by the Knicks, but they really have not had any luck in terms of adding what they need in the offseason.
Team president Leon Rose and GM Scott Perry are determined to change this narrative in New York, which is why it would not be shocking to see the Knicks make a huge move this offseason.
Donovan Mitchell is the guy they want, but if only Rudy Gobert is available, the Knicks may be willing to pursue the All-Star big man, especially since Mitchell Robinson is a free agent and Nerlens Noel’s future is clouded.
Gobert gives New York the shot-blocker they need and in a frontcourt with Julius Randle, the Jazz big man would take a ton of rebounding pressure off of Randle.
As for what kind of return the Knicks would have to give the Jazz for Gobert, it is really up-in-the-air.
Utah would want win-now pieces and while Evan Fournier, Alec Burks and Cam Reddish all provide some scoring depth on the wing, is this really what Utah would want for their All-Star center?
Derrick Rose and Kemba Walker are also options the Knicks could look to deal, but it is hard to imagine that the Jazz would want either of these two veterans in a backcourt with Mike Conley Jr. and Donovan Mitchell.
The New York Knicks find themselves in a tough spot as a franchise right now and they desperately need to make a big move in the offseason, hence why Rudy Gobert is going to be on their radar should he become available.
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