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Utah Jazz: 3 Trades for Rudy Gobert

The relationship between Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert seems salvageable. However, Mitchell has to be frustrated with Gobert’s careless attitude that ultimately resulted in Mitchell’s having contracted COVID-19. Recently, I broke down three trades for Mitchell, which can be found here. If Mitchell is unwilling to forgive Rudy Gobert, the Jazz may want to trade the big man, and here are three possible suitors.   

3. Atlanta Hawks

Hawks Trade: Clint Capela, Kevin Huerter, 2022 OKC First, 2020 Golden State Second

Jazz Trade: Rudy Gobert

When the Hawks traded for Clint Capela back in February, it was unclear if he would ever actually play a game for them. Gobert and Capela are very similar, but Gobert is a significantly better rim protector. On a young Atlanta Hawks team, Gobert can help to make up for John Collins’ lack of defense. The whole team struggled mightily on defense last season. The move would likely force Collins to play on the perimeter more, but Gobert can replace him as a lob-catcher from Trae Young. The Hawks have been in a rebuild for three seasons now, and this could help jump-start their progress. 

While Clint Capela is a downgrade at center, he’s still very solid and would help heal the loss of Gobert. In 39 games last season, Capela averaged 13.9 ppg and 13.8 rpg on 62.9% from the field. His numbers were certainly helped by James Harden throwing him lobs, but Capela would still have a solid fit in Utah. Red Velvet Kevin Huerter has also shown he can become a reliable shot-maker in the NBA. At age 21, Huerter averaged 12.2 ppg this season. He would be a reliable backup to Donovan Mitchell. The 2022 OKC first-round pick gives the Jazz another trade asset, while the 2020 Golden State holds value given it will likely be at pick 31.  

2. Chicago Bulls

Bulls Trade: Otto Porter Jr., Daniel Gafford, 2020 First, 2022 First 

Jazz Trade: Rudy Gobert

For the Bulls, this would jump-start their progress towards becoming a contender once again. Lauri Markkanen has been inconsistent at times, and Wendell Carter Jr. has looked best at the four as opposed to playing center. The ideal move here would be to have Markkanen come off the bench with Gobert and WCJ in the starting lineup. Otto Porter Jr. is a solid scorer, but nothing the Bulls can’t replace. Quietly, Daniel Gafford has had a solid rookie season as a second-round pick. Losing two first-round picks would be tough, but it would be worth the risk to acquire an all-star center. 

As for Utah, this trade would give them both a reliable scorer in Otto Porter Jr., as well as assets for the future. The first-round picks from Chicago could later send in a different trade for another star player to package with Donovan Mitchell. While maybe not right away, Daniel Gafford has the potential to be a reliable starting-level center in the NBA. His offensive game is very raw, but he’s a stout defender. His 1.5 DBPM was second among rookies, only behind Matisse Thybulle. He’ll be 22 next season and could have a bright NBA future. Otto Porter Jr. is an upgrade over Royce O’Neale as well in the starting lineup. 

1. Los Angeles Clippers:

Clippers Trade: Montrezl Harrell (Sign & Trade), Landry Shamet, Mfiondu Kabengele, 2020 second 

Jazz Trade: Rudy Gobert

While Montrezl Harrell and Landry Shamet are nice pieces, Rudy Gobert would give the Clippers a real big three coming out of the West. Ivica Zubac has been fine as their starting center, but Gobert would put their defense over the top. If this trade were to occur, it would entail the Clippers not re-signing Marcus Morris Sr., and executing a sign-and-trade with Montrezl Harrell. While Morris Sr. has had a great season, it would be worth moving on from him to get Gobert. With Paul George fully healthy next season as well, the Clippers could be the favorite to win the NBA Finals. 

In a weak free agency class, Montrezl Harrell is likely a max contract, or just under that mark. With him getting an extension, the money would work out and allow this trade to be completed. Harrell would have been a candidate for Sixth Man of the Year as he averaged 18.6 ppg and 7.1 rpg off the bench this season. At age 22, Landry Shamet is a sharpshooter, and would likely come off the bench for Utah. Through two seasons, he’s a career 41.0% shooter from beyond the arc. As a rookie, Mfiodnu Kabengele didn’t play much, but that’s due in large part to the Clippers having a deep bench. If the Jazz do ultimately trade Rudy Gobert, this would likely be their best option to get an immediate return of talent. 


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