Rudy Gobert Trade Rumors: Raptors Among Teams with Interest in Jazz Center

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIMay 7, 2022

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - APRIL 28: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz looks on during the second half of Game 6 of the Western Conference First Round Playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 28, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Alex Goodlett/Getty Images

The Utah Jazz are back to the offseason drawing board after falling in the first round of the NBA playoffs to the Dallas Mavericks, and speculation abounds regarding what may happen with centerpieces Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert.

If Utah moves on from Gobert, then the Toronto Raptors "are among the teams who would have a degree of interest in trading for him," sources told SNY's Ian Begley.

Gobert, who turns 30 on June 26, is a three-time All-Star and three-time Defensive Player of the Year. He averaged 15.6 points, 14.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game last season.

The Jazz are left wondering what to do with a core that appears to have hit its ceiling.

Utah rolled into the 2020-21 playoffs as the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference, and it looked as though the Mitchell- and Gobert-led Jazz could take the team to the NBA Finals.

However, the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Jazz in the second round. Granted, the Jazz were without point guard Mike Conley because of a hamstring injury for all but one game, but the Clippers also lost Kawhi Leonard for the final two matchups after he suffered a partially torn ACL.

Utah appeared back in good form to start the 2021-22 season with a 28-10 record, but the Jazz then tumbled to a 21-23 finish en route to taking fifth in the Western Conference.

Utah caught a break when superstar Luka Doncic missed the first two games of the first round with a strained calf, but Dallas split that pair of matchups anyway. Doncic returned for Game 3, and the Mavs put the Jazz away in six.

So now the Jazz are left considering their next steps.

Regarding Gobert, Utah signed the big man to a five-year, $205 million extension in Dec. 2020. That may not be an easy contract to move, although from a personnel standpoint, Toronto could be a good fit.

The Raptors could use a big man in the frontcourt alongside leading scorer Pascal Siakam, who has seen a rotating group there of late.

Plus, Toronto's defense has not been as efficient (No. 15 in 2020-21, No. 10 in 2021-22) as it was from 2016 to 2019, when it finished top-five in three straight years. Gobert would certainly help on that end as one of the game's best defensive players.

For now, Utah has to mull its options after a disappointing season.