Report: Timberwolves acquiring Gobert from Jazz for five players, four firsts

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. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

The Utah Jazz are trading Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro and four first-round picks, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

The four picks are reportedly: 2023 (unprotected), 2025 (unprotected), 2027 (unprotected) and 2029 (top-5 protected). The deal also includes a pick swap for 2026, according to The Athletic's Jon Krawczynski. Kessler was Minnesota's first-round choice in 2022, going 22nd overall.

Gobert, a three-time defensive player of the year with four All-NBA selections, has played his entire nine-year career in Utah up to this point. He has four years left on his contract at a $42.4 million average.

Last season, he averaged 15.6 points, 14.7 points and 2.1 blocks, shooting 71.3 per cent from the field.

The seven-foot Frenchman now joins a Timberwolves core of Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards and D'Angelo Russell that carried Minnesota to a 46-36 record, through the play-in tournament and to a six-game series against the No. 2 seed Memphis Grizzlies.

The Gobert-Towns frontcourt partnership, in particular, will be intriguing as both players are centres, though Towns has struggled on the defensive end. Acquiring Gobert, one of the most decorated defensive players in league history, will help shelter him on that end of the floor. On the offensive side of things, the two may be able to co-exist due to Towns' ability to stretch the floor as an excellent shooter.

This marks the first major trade by new Timberwolves president Tim Connelly, who was poached from the Denver Nuggets.

Minnesota also struck the deal less than 24 hours after coming to an agreement on a $224 million, five-year extension with Towns, who is now under contract for the next six years.

For the Jazz, this signals a new era. After making the playoffs in each of the last six seasons but suffering a series of disappointing exits, the often scrutinized Gobert-Donovan Mitchell combo is no more. The duo never advanced past the second round together.

Now the team has a serious haul of assets, including six first-round picks acquired in the last 24 hours, to work with as it continues building around Mitchell.

John Gambadoro, a talk show host for Arizona Sports 98.7 FM Phoenix, says the Jazz have interest in exploring a sign-and-trade for Phoenix Suns restricted free agent Deandre Ayton, a report that was confirmed by Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer. O'Connor adds the Jazz, Timberwolves and Suns had discussed making a three-team deal.

Utah has also undergone changes at the head coach position, recently hiring Boston Celtics assistant Will Hardy after long-time coach Quin Snyder left this off-season.

With files from Associated Press

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