Trade Package I (the rest of the story):
Wing Leandro Bolmaro is a player who was included in the exchange for salary balance purposes. Curiously enough, he seemed to be a player who was destined for bigger and better things on the Minnesota Timberwolves roster. He stands 6-foot-6 and weighs 200 pounds, giving him the type of flexibility to play as either a shooting guard or small forward.
The thing with an NBA player who attempts to secure a role as a 3-and-D is perfecting a three-point shot, something that Bolmaro struggled at for the Minnesota Timberwolves, and completely lost the ability to perform with the Utah Jazz. He was released by the Jazz and has yet to find a new NBA home.
What about Rudy Gobert?
The Minnesota Timberwolves wanted to get a rim protector, and I don’t believe that Utah Jazz All-Star center Rudy Gobert topped the list in that category. But let’s look past Rudy Gobert’s past and focus on what Gobert delivered to the Minnesota Timberwolves during the 2022-23 NBA season.
Gobert was not responsible for teammate Karl-Anthony Towns’ injury, nor should he be held accountable for the Timberwolves’ struggles to win while Towns was rehabbing for 53 games. To be perfectly honest, without Gobert to line up as the Timberwolves’ center, this team would have been in dire shape. Even as the team struggled against bad NBA teams, there is no denying that the Timberwolves, even short-handed, played very well against good NBA teams. And that is factoring in the lack of support from PG D’Angelo Russell for Gobert by making things tough on him.
While Gobert’s sole season with the Minnesota Timberwolves nearly mirrored his career statistics, there are valid reasons for optimism over his future with the Timberwolves. For starters, the Minnesota Timberwolves helped Gobert out by trading for his former Jazz teammate, PG Mike Conley Jr. (which we will discuss on the next slide). Plus, Gobert’s performance in the 2023 NBA Playoffs did not wilt. He actually put up better numbers than the regular season.
If the goal is to win in the NBA Playoffs, then the Minnesota Timberwolves’ front office priorities are to acquire players who can: Get them to the NBA Playoffs and perform well in the NBA Playoffs. That is exactly what Rudy Gobert did in his first season with the team, and there are many reasons to believe he will perform even better for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2023-24 NBA season/