With the potential of Rudy Gobert being moved in the near future, should the Brooklyn Nets entertain the idea of dealing for the 27-year-old?
It just seems like something significant is on the horizon for the Brooklyn Nets this offseason, whenever the offseason actually happens. Last summer was about obtaining superstar talents that would make Brooklyn major players. Now it seems as if it is about putting the right pieces of the puzzle together beside them in hopes of hosting a parade in the near future.
So, could one of those puzzle pieces be in the form of a 7-foot-1, 258-pound Frenchman known for his rim-protecting acumen? It’s an interesting proposition.
Rudy Gobert, a two-time Defensive Player of the Year recipient (and current defending champion), may have begun to wear out his welcome with Donovan Mitchell and the Utah Jazz, even before his and Mitchell’s coronavirus diagnoses, per David Aldridge of The Athletic.
With the relationship souring, the Nets—with their multiple alluring trade assets—could act as opportunists and entertain the idea of obtaining Gobert, who would likely augment their team’s dynamic, and rid the Jazz of what appears as an evergrowing internecine relationship. It makes sense on paper, without a doubt.
Watch any Jazz game this season or of yesteryear and Gobert’s influence in a halfcourt setting is apparent. The opposition—rather frequently, I might add—is forced to alter their offensive schemes to compensate for the evergreen threat that is Rudy Gobert looming around the interior.
On the other end of the floor, he’s found his niche and has excelled in it. Through 62 games this season, Gobert was averaging 15.1 points and 13.7 rebounds on 69.8% shooting. Though such stats are impressive in their own right, there lies problem No. 1 in acquiring the 27-year-old.
Kevin Durant, undoubtedly the team’s best player and arguably the best player in the world before his injury, has vocalized his pococurante attitude towards big men who play in a similar fashion to Gobert.
Per Anthony Slater of The Athletic, Durant called Clint Capela’s—who gets the majority of his field goals as a rim-rinning big working off the roll—job as “not that hard.”
Such a quote begs the question: Why would Durant then be content with forfeiting most of the Nets’ intriguing assets for a player whose job he believes isn’t that hard? Especially with good friend DeAndre Jordan, who did not appear thrilled in a lesser role, already manning the five spot and assuming much of what Gobert would do on offense?
That’s not to say Jordan is Gobert’s equal in any sense. Let’s not entertain the comparison, but it just doesn’t appear all that realistic for this team to go down this route. Even with Gobert’s relationship with his employer weakening, his market is of significance.
For the Nets to poach him from Salt Lake City into their respective borough, names like Caris LeVert, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Jarrett Allen would all likely be in negotiations. I’m not advocating that those names should be deemed “untouchable,” but going all-in on a player who raises questions about his worth deep into a playoff series is a little, well, too risky for my liking.
Is Gobert a fantastic player? His individual accolades do more than answer that question. Should he, or better yet will be targeted as the Nets’ third star? I wouldn’t count on it.