Did the Minnesota Timberwolves swindle the Utah Jazz with the Rudy Gobert deal?

The Utah Jazz traded away Rudy Gobert, who just helped the Minnesota Timberwolves reach the Western Conference Finals.
Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game Seven
Minnesota Timberwolves v Denver Nuggets - Game Seven / C. Morgan Engel/GettyImages

Rudy Gobert is the best defensive player in the NBA but was unfairly criticized by the NBA media during the matchup against the Denver Nuggets. While Nikola Jokic, the best offensive player in the NBA, cooked him on occasion, he's the best (dare we say) player in the NBA. He's going to get his, but if you listened to J.J. Reddick's podcast where he broke down how good Gobert was, then you'd maybe start to appreciate the most impactful defensive player of his era a bit more.

Before his stint with the Timberwolves, where he won a Defensive Player of the Year Award, the fourth of his career, he of course played for the Utah Jazz. Where he won the other three. He proved himself immensely valuable to the Jazz during his tenure but beef with Donovan Mitchell and concerns about the efficiency of the club, as it was constructed long term, started to take shape. Mitchell and Gobert were on the outs, the roster was aging and handcuffed due to huge contracts.

Trades were made, with Gobert heading off to the Timberwolves in exchange for players Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Leandro Bolmaro, Walker Kessler, and Jarred Vanderbilt, alongside four first-round picks and a pick swap. Beasley and Vanderbilt would then essentially be flipped for a first-round pick with the Los Angeles Lakers.

Of the remaining players, Bolmaro was waived, while Beverly was traded to the Lakers as well but for Talen Horton-Tucker, and Stanley Johnson (the latter of which was waived). This means only Kessler remains, alongside five first-round picks and a pick-swap in total.

Far from nothing, but some fans seem to think the Timberwolves "swindled" the Jazz for Gobert.

Let's be clear, that is far from the case. The Timberwolves are in the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2003 and will see the two future stars of the NBA face off with one another as the Wolves' Anthony Edwards and the Mavericks' Luka Doncic will battle to see who's off to the NBA Finals.

Regardless of what happens, it's impossible to say one side really "won" or "swindled" the other as the core part of the Wolves' trade, the draft picks, haven't even arrived yet. They have the rights to five of the Timberwolves' picks, one being the swap and a sixth that belongs to the Lakers. If just one of those picks turns into an All-Star that helps take the Utah Jazz deep into the playoffs, then clearly it wasn't a swindling.

It's way too early to say otherwise, and while we think the Wolves have greatly benefited from Gobert until we see what the last pick the Timberwolves gave the Jazz, it's impossible to say anything more about this trade other than that the Timberwolves, today, were right to make it.