Timberwolves Rudy Gobert is taking names this year

Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports /
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Did the Minnesota Timberwolves start a new NBA trend? Perhaps not, but the Timberwolves are certainly ahead of the curve. After all, with all of the fuss being made about Oklahoma City Thunder center Chet Holmgren, Utah Jazz center Walker Kessler, and San Antonio Spurs rookie center Victor Wembanyama, too many have forgotten that these players aspire to have an NBA career that rivals that of Minnesota Timberwolves All-Star center Rudy Gobert.

Adding an All-Star center like Rudy Gobert certainly was exciting news for Minnesota Timberwolves fans last season. But the thrill is gone, or never truly arrived, once the 2022-23 NBA season began. Or has it?  Some thrill always accompanies something or someone new.  But isn’t also true that some of the excitement can be delayed as well?

Gobert gets a warm welcome

We know that the news of Gobert’s arrival was met with a surge of excitement by Minnesota Timberwolves fans.

Rightfully so, as Gobert brings significant upside to a Timberwolves roster that had focused almost exclusively on offense before his arrival.

Gobert was not acquired by the Minnesota Timberwolves to put up 30 points a game. Rather, he was the line of last defense, a huge rim-protecting center whose height and basketball IQ force teams to plan differently when facing him in a game. The Timberwolves wanted a guy who could score 10-20 points per game, haul in 10-20 rebounds per game, and perhaps block 2.0+ shots on average.

That type of production simply does not come cheap in the NBA.