3. Gobert goes to New Orleans
This trade is unlikely because the Timberwolves acquire four players and give up two. Those deals are tough to make during the season because rosters are full, and players have to be waived to make the deal. This move cannot happen until after Jan. 15 because Herbert Jones has a trade restriction after signing an extension with the Pelicans this summer.
New Orleans wants to upgrade at the five and rim protection is at the top of their wish list. They could be willing to go all-in on Gobert, but the Pelicans would need someone to take Jonas Valanciunas’ expiring contract.
The Spurs are the perfect fit as they look for a big man to make life easier for Victor Wembanyama.
Minnesota picks up three rotation-ready wings, a skilled backup big man, and three first-round picks. They would be a bit unbalanced and desperately need a point guard, but primed to use the picks to acquire one.
Dealing the draft capital for a star ball-handler and playmaker could quickly make the Minnesota Timberwolves one of the deepest and most dangerous teams in the NBA. They would have to figure out their defense with KAT at the five, but creating a strong perimeter unit around him may do the trick.
This is a bold move for the Wolves as they sell Rudy Gobert for less than what they paid, but it may become necessary if their current big-man duo is not working.