The Utah Jazz’s 2021-22 season is officially over. The Jazz
believed they were a championship contender, but this marks another
season ending in disappointment and heartbreak. Now, looking ahead
at what’s to come in Salt Lake City, massive changes seem to be on
the horizon. Whether it be Donovan Mitchell or Rudy Gobert on the
move, something’s gotta give. Other veterans such as Mike Conley
and Bojan Bogdanovic could be on the move too.
While our Bryan Fonseca recently broke down possible trade destinations for
Mitchell, it's seems likely that the Jazz will try to appease
their young star shooting guard. Gordon Hayward already broke
Utah’s heart a few years ago when he left in free agency. If
Mitchell requested a trade, it would send shockwaves throughout
Utah. Unlike Hayward, Mitchell has star power that transcends Utah
and he could potentially lead the team to heights they haven’t
reached since the 1990s with John Stockton and Karl Malone.
If the Jazz have to move their homegrown three-time Defensive
Player of the Year in order to keep Mitchell, I'm almost certain it
would happen. It’s an unfortunate twist of fate for Gobert, but
leaving the Jazz’s system might be the best thing for him so he can
truly blossom into a true two-way presence.
As seen throughout Utah's first-round series against the Dallas
Mavericks, Gobert was ignored or simply used as a decoy more often
than not. If Gobert is used on a more consistent basis in a
different environment, who knows what he could accomplish as one of
the NBA’s premier lob threats?
Gobert hitting the trade market would result in a feeding frenzy
around the Association. Whether it be title contenders or
rebuilding teams who feel close to a massive leap, Gobert could be
viewed as the missing piece to the puzzle.
Without further ado, let’s dive into five realistic destinations
for a Gobert blockbuster deal this offseason.
Chicago knows they’re in desperate need of a defensive jolt.
Adding Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso in the backcourt already brought
a new identity to the Bulls, who were seemingly allergic to defense
before their arrival. Myles Turner has been mentioned as a possible
target for Chicago, but the Indiana Pacers are reportedly expected to keep him
long-term. Why not swing for the fences with Gobert? Acquiring the
29-year-old would be a crown-jewel moment for the
Imagine the possibilities for Chicago with Gobert patrolling the
paint with Ball and Caruso hawking the perimeter. It’s the perfect
complement to offensive dynamos Zach LaVine and DeMar DeRozan.
Chicago’s new starting lineup of Ball, Caruso, LaVine, DeRozan and
Gobert would seemingly have no holes in it from a two-way
I absolutely love this idea for Chicago, and they should be
blowing up the Jazz’s phone this summer if it seems plausible.
Jazz receive: Nikola Vucevic, Patrick Williams, Coby
White, draft compensation
Bulls receive: Rudy Gobert
The Knicks are bound to blow it up one way or another soon
enough. Julius Randle feels like one of the most obvious trade
candidates to potentially hit the market this offseason. If the
Knicks are done with Randle, could they parlay him and other young
pieces to acquire Gobert? While New York would love to land
Mitchell, the Knicks should seriously explore a Gobert trade
since the organization needs some sort of game-changing move.
The 2022-23 season feels like a make-or-break year for the
current Knicks regime. Head coach Tom Thibodeau’s seat is red-hot,
plus the Knicks’ front office has to be itching to make some sort
of move to change course from a stale build.
Gobert’s arrival would signal New York is ready to finally
ascend the Eastern Conference standings. Sure, Gobert isn’t a true
“superstar,” but he’s far and away the most impactful player the
Knicks could realistically reel in this offseason. Gobert being the
adult in the room for an accelerated rebuild in the Big Apple is a
fun scenario, especially as it provides a high-floor outcome
New York’s current roster has ample flexibility to turn it all
over again by 2023. If the Knicks clear out all of their contracts
with team options and expiring deals, sans the young core, they
will have a max slot open for the loaded 2023 free-agent class.
Would Gobert and RJ Barrett be able to sell a star on New York? If
Barrett takes the leap forward that many expect, that’s a fun
big/wing duo to build around long-term.
Utah will likely want at least another young asset or two in
return as part of this projected blockbuster, but the framework is
strong enough to build off it.
Jazz receive: Julius Randle, Alec Burks, Quentin Grimes,
Knicks receive: Rudy Gobert
Want to find the perfect fit for Gobert outside of Utah? The
Hawks are the ideal destination for Gobert, who would be able to
shine outside of the Jazz’s system. Trae Young pick-and-rolls with
Gobert would simply be unfair to try to guard, and it would help
insulate their star point guard in a better situation.
Atlanta also has the right amount of assets to make this
compelling for Utah to pull the trigger. Whether it be John Collins
or Bogdan Bogdanovic, either one could be the centerpiece to a
Gobert deal. Also, Atlanta has an upcoming expiring salary in
Danilo Gallinari with only $5 million guaranteed on his contract.
If you throw together Collins, Gallinari and future draft
compensation, it could be enough for the Jazz to take negotiations
more seriously. Clint Capela could also be re-routed to another
team to free up further cap flexibility as well.
For Atlanta, they are ready to win right now with Young leading
the way. With Young, Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, Onyeka Okongwu
and Jalen Johnson, they have a young core that's ready to take the
next step. Gobert brings a star piece to an organization that has
the urgency to compete right now in the East, and they'll want to
bounce back after how they crashed and burned to end their 2021-22
season. Also, the Hawks had the NBA's 26th-ranked defense this
season (allowing 112.1 points per 100 possessions), so adding a
three-time Defensive Player of the Year could be just what they
It wouldn’t be a surprise to see a player of Young’s caliber
push for Gobert to join him in Atlanta too. With all the trade
rumors swirling around Collins since he signed a five-year
extension, this deal makes a lot of sense for both sides to explore
Jazz receive: John Collins, Danilo Gallinari, future
Hawks receive: Rudy Gobert
Smoke is already forming around this possibility, if the Jazz
indeed decide to blow it up in a few months. For the Warriors, it’s
an all-in move to create another dynasty in the final prime years
of Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green. With so much
young talent climbing the ladder in the reloaded Western
Conference, the time is now for the Warriors to make a splashy move
to keep themselves atop the standings.
This will be the last time the Warriors can explore potential
deals revolving around Andrew Wiggins’ bloated salary as well. Next
season, Wiggins will be on an expiring contract making $33.6
million. With Wiggins, Golden State can immediately enter the
conversation for Gobert while also having some intriguing young
pieces that could appeal to Utah.
Jonathan Kuminga is likely off limits from the Warriors’
perspective, flashing real two-way potential throughout this
season. However, what about a combination of Moses Moody and James
Wiseman? Instantly, Utah can replenish their young core with two
immediate contributors to place alongside Mitchell long-term. Throw
in some future draft picks and the Jazz might be the ones who are
ready to press “accept” on this hypothetical trade.
Golden State’s new-age lineup of dominance would simply be
unfair. Take a look at the Warriors’ projected lineup with Gobert:
Curry, Jordan Poole, Thompson, Green and Gobert. With all of the
versatility on display here, it could vault Golden State into a
different stratosphere entirely.
Jazz receive: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, Moses
Moody, future draft compensation
Warriors receive: Rudy Gobert, Rudy Gay
Here’s a surprise team that could become very aggressive in the
Gobert sweepstakes if the chips fall their way this offseason. No.
1 overall pick Cade Cunningham flashed superstar potential for the
Pistons during his rookie campaign, especially after the All-Star
If the Pistons get lottery luck once more with a top pick in
this year’s draft, could they decide to push some chips into the
middle of the table for Gobert? Imagine if the Pistons had a trio
of Cunningham, Gobert and a top prospect (Jabari Smith or Paolo
Banchero?) to build around for the next five-plus years.
For the Pistons, acquiring stars via the draft or trades is the
only realistic route to obtaining a game-changing talent. We
already saw it on display with their former regime when they traded
for Blake Griffin, which led to little progress long-term. Unlike
Griffin, Gobert actually fits into the organization's long-term
From the Jazz’s perspective, they would be asking for a heavy
return from a team like Detroit. We’re talking two key pieces to
their core as well as veteran wing Jerami Grant. Would the Pistons
feel comfortable moving Saddiq Bey and Isaiah Stewart for Gobert?
That may be Utah's asking price.
Jazz receive: Jerami Grant, Saddiq Bey, Isaiah Stewart,
Kelly Olynyk, future draft compensation
Pistons receive: Rudy Gobert, Nickeil
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