After returning to the playoffs last season, the Minnesota Timberwolves are trying to make sure they get back in 2022-23.
Minnesota has reached a deal to acquire star center Rudy Gobert from the Utah Jazz in a blockbuster trade for five players and four first-round draft picks, according to reports from ESPN and The Athletic.
ESPN reported Utah will receive Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro and Walker Kessler, the No. 22 pick in last week's draft, in return. The Jazz will also get unprotected first-round picks in 2023, 2025 and 2027, plus a top five-protected pick in 2029.
The Timberwolves went 46-36 last season after missing the playoffs for three consecutive years. They won a play-in game to secure the No. 7 seed in the Western Conference before losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in the first round.
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With young stars Karl-Anthony Towns, 26, and Anthony Edwards, 20, already in place as the franchise cornerstones, Minnesota adds one of the NBA's best defenders to the mix in the 30-year-old Gobert.
He is a three-time Defensive Player of the Year (2018, 2019, 2021), one of only four players in league history to win the award three times, and has been named to the All-Defensive first team in each of the last six seasons.
Gobert averaged 15.6 points, 14.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks in 66 games last season. His development into a top-tier player was a huge success story for Utah after the Jazz selected the 7-1 Frenchman with the 27th pick in the 2013 draft.
The trade is the first major player move of the offseason for the Jazz, who might not be finished re-shaping the roster. Star guard Donovan Mitchell has been mentioned in numerous trade rumors, and reports of friction between Mitchell and Gobert have sprung up at various points during the last few seasons.
Utah also hired Will Hardy as its new head coach earlier this week. Hardy, 34, is the youngest active head coach in the league and replaces Quin Snyder, who stepped down last month after eight seasons.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Timberwolves to acquire Rudy Gobert from Jazz in trade