Rudy Gobert he reads Twitter comments, so he knows Minnesota fans didn’t like him much during his first nine NBA seasons. And he’s also heard Timberwolves coach Chris Finch regularly complain about the way he sets up screens.
Those perspectives are likely to change.
“We’re on the same side now, so I’m excited,” Gobert said.
So is Minnesota, for good reason. The Timberwolves announced the Gobert acquisition at a news conference in Minneapolis on Wednesday, when the trade they agreed to with the Utah Jazz last week could finally become official. It took four players, five first-round picks, including one made last month and the option to trade another pick to get the French center to Minnesota, and the Timberwolves still feel they got the best of the deal.
“We think it’s a great fit with what we already do,” Finch said.
In a league that has become increasingly unsettled, where small ball sometimes reigns supreme, the Timberwolves now have two of the best big men in the league in the same lineup with a three-time defensive player of the year in Gobert playing alongside. to All-NBA, Karl-Anthony Towns.
“He doesn’t inhibit anything that we currently have,” Timberwolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said. “He does better. He augments what we currently have. So when we look at fitness, it’s not just about talent. It’s about developing the team … and he’s going to do better.”
The Utah-Minnesota trade was executed shortly after the NBA’s moratorium on most offseason player moves and contract signings was lifted Wednesday.
The final agreement between Utah and Minnesota was this: Gobert goes to the Timberwolves for patrick beverley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmarothe rights of the newly recruited Walker KesslerMinnesota’s 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029 first-round picks and a 2026 first-round pick trade.
Jazz owner Ryan Smith said Gobert “will forever be a part of us.”
“Rudy Gobert had a huge impact on this franchise and the entire state of Utah during his nine seasons with the Jazz,” Smith said. “One of the greatest defensive players in NBA history, Rudy will always be considered one of the most important players to ever wear a Jazz uniform. His love for him and his impact on this community cannot be overstated.”
The Jazz saw coach Quin Snyder resign last month after eight seasons and hired former San Antonio and Boston assistant Will Hardy to replace him. Then came the Gobert trade, which ended an era in Utah. No team in the Western Conference has won more regular-season games in the past six seasons than the Jazz, but the success never carried over to the postseason. Utah made the playoffs in each of those six years, never getting past the second round.
“The window to win is not always big,” Gobert said. “For us in Utah, that’s what happened. I think the organization felt that way. We were maybe past that window that we had the last few years. I think it’s going to continue to be a very competitive team. It just felt like with all the assets they could get for me, it was better for them to go that way.
The Timberwolves could be just the opposite. They haven’t seen the second round in nearly two decades and they’re betting Towns, Gobert, Anthony Edwards Y D’Angelo Russell they can become a nucleus to change all that.
“The goal is to win a championship,” Gobert said. “I came here for that. I didn’t come here just to be a good team. I came here to try and get this team to the Finals and achieve that.”
Associated Press contributed to this report.
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Gobert: I come to win the title with Wolves