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Rudy Gobert Rumors: Jazz Pursued OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr. Before T-Wolves Trade

Erin WalshJuly 2, 2022

Vaughn Ridley/NBAE via Getty Images

The Utah Jazz inquired about acquiring OG Anunoby and Gary Trent Jr. of the Toronto Raptors before trading Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.

"There was a belief it would take a substantial upgrade at center for Toronto to consider trading Anunoby. Gobert ranked atop Toronto’s wish list ahead of other centers on the trade market, such as Myles Turner, whose name has been mentioned in more rumors over the years than a celebrity in People Magazine and remains a candidate to be traded."

Scotto added: "While there have been several reports over the past few years that the Raptors would like to upgrade at center, the team has a bevy of forwards in the 6'7" to 6'9" range giving them elite switching ability on defense."

Anunoby has been included in trade rumors over the last several weeks. Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported about one month ago on the Dunc'd On Basketball NBA Podcast that Anunoby had been unhappy with his role in Toronto.

That said, Toronto doesn't appear interested in moving the 24-year-old. Raptors assistant general manager Dan Tolzman was asked last month if he thought the organization could draft another Anunoby with the No. 7 pick in this year's draft should a rumored deal with the Portland Trail Blazers go through.

He responded: "That would be tough, man. The way he's trending? That would be really tough."

Anunoby has elevated his game in each campaign since being selected 23rd in the 2017 draft. He had the best year of his career last season, averaging 17.1 points, 5.5 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.5 steals per game while shooting 44.3 percent from the floor and 36.3 percent from deep.

That said, it's no surprise the Jazz expressed interest in Anunoby, especially considering the franchise plans to "retool" around Donovan Mitchell, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Anunoby would have been a nice upgrade at forward over Bojan Bogdanovic and might have paired well with Mitchell and Mike Conley.

As for Trent, he has an $18.6 million player option for the 2023-24 campaign and will be looking for a new deal soon. It's unclear if the Raptors would be open to a more lucrative deal for the veteran.

Trent had an impressive 2021-22 season, averaging 18.3 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.0 assists and 1.7 steals per game while shooting 41.4 percent from the floor and 38.3 percent from deep. Like Anunoby, it's no surprise he drew interest from the Jazz as another piece to put around Mitchell.

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