Timberwolves acquire Rudy Gobert in blockbuster trade

Tim Connelly didn’t waste much time putting his mark on the Minnesota Timberwolves.

A day after the opening of the NBA’s free agency period, the Timberwolves made a massive splash via a trade, acquiring three-time defensive player of the year Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski first reported that the Wolves sent the Jazz guards Malik Beasley and Patrick Beverley, forward Jarred Vanderbilt, former first-round pick Leandro Bolmaro, recent first-round pick and center Walker Kessler and multiple future first-round draft picks, reportedly Minnesota’s 2023, 2025, 2027 picks and a top-five protected 2029 pick. KSTP Sports has since confirmed the news.

The blockbuster trade gives the Timberwolves an elite defensive-minded big man to pair in the frontcourt with Karl-Anthony Towns.

1-on-1 with Timberwolves Pres. of Basketball Operations Tim Connelly

Gobert, 30, is in the second year of a max contract that will pay him $38.1 million this season and rungs through the 2024-25 season. Gobert also has a player option for the 2025-26 season at $46.6 million.

Last season, Gobert averaged 15.6 points, 14.7 rebounds, 1.1 assists and 2.1 blocks per game on 71.3% shooting. For his career, he’s averaged 12.4 points, 11.7 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game on 65.3% shooting.

The move comes a day after the Wolves signed forward Kyle Anderson to a two-year deal.

Minnesota is trying to take another step this season after ending up as the seventh seed in the Western Conference last season and losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round of the postseason.