After reports about his worsening relationship with the face of the franchise, Donovan Mitchell, spread around the league, rumors have immediately started to circulate around All-Star center Rudy Gobert and his future with the Utah Jazz. The Jazz are currently doing their best to fix the issue between the two of their franchise cornerstones but if they fail, they could be forced to part ways with Gobert in the 2020 NBA offseason. Once he becomes officially available on the trade market, several NBA teams who are in dire need of an additional star power to contend for the NBA championship title are expected to express a strong interest in acquiring Gobert from the Jazz, including the Washington Wizards.
According to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, there’s no NBA team that needs Gobert more than the Wizards. The Wizards may have shown an impressive performance on the offensive end of the floor this season but they were noticeable struggling on the opposite end. Before the NBA suspension due to the spread of coronavirus, the Wizards ranked last in defensive rating (115.0), 29th in defensive rebounding percentage (70.8 percent) and 24th in blocks per game.
Swartz believes adding a two-time Defensive Player of the Year like Gobert to the core of John Wall, Bradley Beal, and Davis Bertans would not only help the Wizards address their defensive issues but it would turn them into a legitimate playoff contender in the Eastern Conference next season.
“No team in the NBA needs Rudy Gobert more than Washington, especially with Wall’s mobility likely limited when he returns. If the Wizards backcourt can’t stop penetration, Gobert could at least keep opponents out of the paint. Gobert has the NBA’s highest defensive real plus-minus rating (3.23), per ESPN, is fourth in rebounding (13.7 per game) and is sixth in blocked shots (2.0 per game). If the Wizards can re-sign sharpshooter Davis Bertans to be their starting power forward, the core of Wall, Beal, Bertans and Gobert would definitely be a playoff team in the East.”
Gobert would undeniably be an incredible addition to the Wizards, giving them an All-Star caliber big man who could form Washington’s “Big Three” with Wall and Beal. Aside from being an incredible rebounder and shot-blocker, Gobert would also give the Wizards a very reliable option on the offensive end of the floor. This season, the 27-year-old French big man is averaging 15.1 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks while shooting 69.8 percent from the field.
However, to bring Gobert to Washington, the Wizards should be willing to make a Godfather offer to the Jazz. To convince the Jazz to engage in a blockbuster deal, Swartz suggested that the Wizards could offer a trade package that includes Rui Hachimura and Thomas Bryant. Trading a young and promising talent like Hachimura would be a tough decision for the Wizards but it’s the type of move that the Wizards should be willing to make if they are determined to keep the explosive backcourt duo of Beal and Wall.