Will Jazz Trade Rudy Gobert To Mavericks Or Celtics?

Will Jazz Trade Rudy Gobert To Mavericks Or Celtics?

The Utah Jazz are facing some big decisions this offseason. After taking a 3-1 lead over the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs, the team promptly gave that advantage back and ended up falling in seven games. Clearly, as presently constructed, this group will have trouble competing for a championship.

The question is: what changes need to be made? Over the past couple of weeks, two intriguing trade suitors have emerged for Jazz big man Rudy Gobert: the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics.

“Several rival executives have pitched the Mavs as a trade destination for Rudy Gobert, who is eligible for a supermax. I get the thinking — a rim-running center to stabilize Dallas’ shaky defense,” ESPN NBA insider Zach Lowe wrote this week. “But I can’t get there. Devoting $65 million combined to Gobert and Porzingis when the latter needs to play a good chunk at center is not optimal.

“And let’s say the Mavs snare Gobert and then need some means of acquiring Antetokounmpo via sign-and-trade. Do the rebuilding Bucks want Gobert? They would almost certainly prefer Porzingis, but that leaves Dallas figuring out how to fit Antetokounmpo and Gobert on offense — or finding a third team for him. (There’s also the small matter of whether Dallas has much Utah would want.)”

Beyond the Mavericks, Boston has also been described as a potential landing spot for Gobert. In that deal, Utah would likely get back Gordon Hayward, Enes Kanter and the Celtics’ No. 14 pick in this year’s draft. Is that enough to entice the Jazz to pull the trigger? It’s debatable.

On one hand, Gobert is a tremendous defensive player and anchors the entire team’s scheme on that side of the ball. Last year, he finished fourth in defensive rebounds and sixth in blocked shots, all while averaging 15.1 points and 13.5 rebounds.

On the other hand, retaining Gobert comes with some issues. In one season, he will be eligible for a supermax extension. Does the 28-year-old do enough to warrant that sort of payday when the Jazz are already creeping up on the luxury tax line? Utah has some very real problem areas that need to be addressed, and there is no way that will happen if the franchise ties all its money up in Gobert.

What the entire conversation really boils down to is whether the Jazz want to build around Donovan Mitchell, or Mitchell and Gobert. Obviously if it’s the latter, then the organization retains him and hopes for the best. However, if it’s the former, then a trade for Gobert while he still has value on the market seems like a logical move.

This is going to be an interesting few months, during which the Jazz will need to do a bit of serious soul-searching.

Will Gobert stay with the franchise long-term? Time will tell.

Related: Indians Trading Francisco Lindor To Mets, Dodgers, Yankees Or Angels?

Charles Kruger

Charles Kruger has been credentialed to cover two Super Bowls, four NBA Finals, and one World Series. A 20-year veteran in the sports world, he has sources spanning the NBA, MLB, NFL, UFC and NASCAR. Currently residing in Los Angeles, Calif., he is Game 7's go-to source for rumors surrounding the Lakers, Clippers and Dodgers.

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