NBA Exec Sees Rudy Gobert as Possible Warriors Trade Target If Jazz Star Is Shopped

Rob Goldberg@@TheRobGoldbergFeatured Columnist IVApril 12, 2022

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert brings the ball up during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, April 6, 2022, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

The Golden State Warriors could reportedly target Rudy Gobert if the Utah Jazz shop the center in the offseason.

"If Rudy Gobert becomes available this summer, I think you'd find a lot of those veterans with the Warriors might want the team to make a run at him," a Western Conference executive told Heavy.com’s Sean Deveney.

The executive projected the Warriors would have to send Andrew Wiggins and James Wiseman in return for the three-time All-Star. 

"Talent-wise, Wiggins and Wiseman for Gobert is a good deal for both sides," they added.

A potential trade would further strengthen the Warriors' defense, which already ranked No. 2 in the NBA in efficiency this season. It would especially help in the post considering Golden State's currently undersized frontcourt of Kevon Looney (6'9") and Draymond Green (6'6").

Gobert (7'1") is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year, and he led the NBA with a career-high 14.7 rebounds per game this season. He also averaged 15.6 points and 2.1 blocks per game while making 71.3 percent of field-goal attempts.

It could be what the Warriors need to match up with other top bigs in the Western Conference, including Nikola Jokic, Karl-Anthony Towns and Deandre Ayton.

With Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole creating plenty of offense from the perimeter, the addition of Gobert would make this team especially dangerous.

From Utah's perspective, a trade could help create more cap flexibility by dealing a player owed over $120 million over the next three years. The team already has $155.6 million on the books for 2022-23, the sixth-highest in the NBA. 

Wiseman missed the entire season because of a knee injury, but the 2020 No. 3 pick has plenty of promise as a two-way center. Pairing him with Donovan Mitchell could keep the Jazz in contention for a long time while ensuring they don't lose much in the short term.