The Minnesota Timberwolves extended Karl-Anthony Towns, so that he’s locked up for the next six years. To top that, they have now traded for Utah Jazz center and former Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.
Gobert and the Jazz, especially star guard Donovan Mitchell, have had a falling out that seems like it can almost be traced back to the start of COVID-19. Their first-round playoff exit did that relationship no favors.
On the flip side, the Wolves are just a few pieces from title contention, and they clearly view trading for Gobert as a move that will increase those odds.
As a casualty of the trade, former Kentucky Wildcats forward Jarred Vanderbilt was sent from Minnesota to Utah along with several first-round picks and Malik Beasley. Vanderbilt is coming off the best season of his career.
The Timberwolves are sending Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt and multiple first-round picks for Gobert, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2022
Vanderbilt, a former second-round pick, averaged 6.9 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. The key with Vanderbilt is that he plays his role extremely well. Shooting 59% from the field, he’ll never be a high-volume scorer.
But, he stands 6-foot-9 and had a 7-foot-1 wingspan. He can defend at a high level as well. Couple his defensive tenacity with his efficiency, and Vanderbilt should have a lengthy career in the league.
Four players and multiple first-round picks is quite the load for Utah, and it should help improve their organization as well. Figuring out how to retool around Mitchell won’t be easy, and without Gobert and head coach Quin Snyder, the culture and play style will change.
It should be one that bodes well for Vanderbilt though.