It was the surprise of the night in the NBA. Rudy Gobert, nine years after his arrival in the “Great League”, leaves the Utah Jazz. Considered one of the best defenders in the North American championship, the player from Picardy confirmed on Saturday July 2 that he was leaving the franchise based in Salt Like Citythat of his debut in the NBA since 2013.
“Utah!!!! I was just a kid from France when I came here nine years ago, but I felt welcomed and supported from day one”wrote on his Twitter account the Olympic vice-champion of Tokyo.
Utah!!! I was just a kid from France when I got here 9 years ago… pic.twitter.com/TKmQ6tC4dH
— Rudy Gobert (@rudygobert27) July 2, 2022
“I grew as a man and as a player in front of your eyes and I thank you for every moment I’ve had. Utah and its people will always hold a special place in my heart, thank you, the journey continues “added Gobert.
The pivot did not specify his new destination, but according to the specialized press, there is no longer a shadow of a doubt. Renowned ESPN journalist Adrian Wojnarowski, considered the official voice of the NBA on transfers, is adamant: Rudy Gobert is joining Minnesota.
Utah is trading Rudy Gobert to Minnesota, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2022
And the Timberwolves have used great means to afford the star of the Blues. The Minneapolis franchise sends five players (Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Walker Kessler, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro) to the Utah Jazz and gives them four first-round draft picks (for the 2023, 2025, 2027 and 2029 drafts).
Even if it will be necessary to wait for the validation of the contracts by the North American league, Wednesday June 6, the Timberwolves are on their way to affording themselves one of the most remarkable duos in the racket. Rudy Gobert will indeed join the local star Karl-Anthony Towns, without forgetting the nugget Anthony Edwards (20 years old, number 1 in the 2020 draft). At 30, the Frenchman will discover his second NBA franchise, nine years after being selected in 27th position in the first round of the 2013 draft by Utah.
With the Jazz, Gobert was voted best defender in the league three times, in 2018, 2019 and 2021. But the Olympic vice-champion of the Tokyo Games never managed to reach the NBA finals, despite six appearances in the play- off. With the signing of the tricolor giant, Minnesota thus enters a new dimension: that of the outsiders for the supreme title.