In its most recent list of trade suggestions, Bleacher Report wrote that the Sacramento Kings could improve their chances of making the playoffs for the first time in 15 years by swinging a deal for Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.
According to the publication, the Kings have recently been making moves with “perpetual impatience,” considering how they seemingly overpaid multiple times for mid-tier free agents such as Trevor Ariza, Dewayne Dedmon, and Cory Joseph. Gobert, on the other hand, could be the player to give Sacramento the “jolt” it needs to become a postseason contender, especially since his ability to stop opposing big men could help the team improve its 19th-ranked defense in the 2020-21 season. This rank, as noted, was the Kings’ best since 2005-06.
In its hypothetical trade, Bleacher Report suggested that Sacramento could get Gobert and backup center Ed Davis in exchange for starting forward Harrison Barnes, backup wingman Justin James, center Richaun Holmes, and the No. 12 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. The outlet wrote that this move could result in the Kings sacrificing some spacing, though it’s possible that youngsters De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley III could make up for that if they continue to progress as shooters.
“The offense could still come out ahead, as Gobert’s screens would immediately rank among Sacramento’s best weapons. And hey, if the Kings still encounter the occasional clunkfest, at least they could let Ed Davis loose on the offensive glass,” the site continued.
As for the Jazz, Bleacher Report speculated that the club might be reluctant to shell out the money to re-sign Gobert to a super-max contract when he becomes eligible to do so ahead of the 2021-22 season. While the Frenchman likely won’t get such a rich deal if he chooses to re-sign, the publication pointed out that there’s a chance it will still cost a lot of money to bring him back to Utah. However, it was also noted that the proposed move could still allow the Jazz to come away with some useful pieces.
Although Barnes was described as an “overpaid” player, his contributions on both ends of the floor in a supporting role could be useful to a “good” team like the Jazz, the outlet added. Holmes, meanwhile, could replace Gobert in the middle as an athletic big man, while James and the No. 12 selection could potentially contribute at a cheap price while allowing Utah to save money ahead of superstar guard Donovan Mitchell’s maximum contract eligibility.
Apart from the Kings, there have been several teams mentioned as potential destinations for Gobert if he gets traded. One recent trade idea suggested that the Boston Celtics could acquire the former Defensive Player of the Year for a package featuring Gordon Hayward, Daniel Theis, and their No. 14 pick in this year’s draft.