Jazz GM Praises Rudy Gobert, but Trade Was 'in the Best Interest of the Organization'

Tyler Conway@@jtylerconwayFeatured Columnist IVJuly 10, 2022

David Sherman/NBAE via Getty Images

Utah Jazz general manager Justin Zanik agreed with Rudy Gobert's assessment that the team's championship window had closed and said the team needed to make a trade for the organization to move forward.

"This is in the best interest of the organization," Zanik told reporters at NBA Summer League.

Zanik praised Gobert and acknowledged players like him "don't grow on trees," but he said the Gobert-Donovan Mitchell core had gone as far as it could.

"The team fell short, we fell short, so we need to recalibrate and try to go and open up the next window. And hopefully it's a long window," Zanik said.

The Jazz traded Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for guards Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Leandro Bolmaro, forward Jarred Vanderbilt and the draft rights to center Walker Kessler, along with receiving four first-round picks (2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029) and the rights to a 2026 first-round pick swap.

Gobert spent his first nine seasons in Utah, developing into one of the best centers in NBA history. He's one of only four players in NBA history (Dwight Howard, Dikembe Mutombo and Ben Wallace) to win Defensive Player of the Year at least three times.

The dominance has not always translated over to the postseason, with Gobert at times struggling against quicker bigs and the Jazz consistently falling short of expectations. Utah never made it past the Western Conference Semifinalsl in the Mitchell-Gobert era and is coming off its third first-round exit in the last four years.

The massive draft haul should allow the Jazz to revamp their roster, either via a full-scale teardown or by using some of those draft picks to acquire a better co-star fit next to Mitchell.

Zanik refused to say Mitchell was untouchable when asked by reporters but said there is "no intent" to move the All-Star guard.


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