There’s absolutely no doubt that Rudy Gobert is one of the best defenders in the league. He’s a perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate that can anchor the paint, alter shots, and even guard all the way to the perimeter.
Gobert’s presence has been great for the Utah Jazz. Then again, with the league shifting and orienting towards the perimeter, and small-ball, they could be wary of spending a lot of money on signing him to a huge contract extension.
That’s why Preston Ellis of Bleacher Report recently suggested a move in which the Stifle Tower could be traded to the Washington Wizards for the 9th overall pick, Isaac Bonga, Moritz Wagner, Jerome Robinson, Ish Smith, and Thomas Bryant:
“Still, Gobert would make the immediate impact the Wizards are desperate for. Bradley Beal is under contract through at least 2022, but he’s made it clear he’s fed up with losing. At just 28, Gobert, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year, can immediately thrust the Wizards back into contention amid Wall’s return from an Achilles injury,” the report said.
Ellis went on to elaborate that even though Gobert is great for the Jazz, his relationship with Donovan Mitchell could be reason enough to move on from him. The Jazz are clearly sold on Mitchell as their building block for the future and pairing him with the 9th overall pick of this Draft would make a lot of sense:
“The awkwardness between Donovan Mitchell and Gobert aside, the Utah Jazz may be hesitant to sign Gobert, a free agent after next year, to the max-level extension he’s worth. Instead of riding out the season with that distraction over their heads, they can pad their depth and bring in a top-10 pick who perfectly fits Mitchell’s timeline,” it concluded.
The Jazz have a strong core to contend for many more years but some may argue that Gobert is one of the main reasons why they’re actually a good team. It may be a huge gamble for Utah but it could also be better for the long run.