Raptors rumors: Toronto interested in offseason Rudy Gobert trade

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - MAY 01: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - MAY 01: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Raptors and Utah Jazz find themselves in the middle of the pack in their respective conferences as they gear up for a postseason. However, while the Raptors appear to have created a devastating young core, the Jazz could be on the verge of blowing it all up and trading Rudy Gobert.

On top of the fact that Quin Snyder is being mentioned as a potential Gregg Popovich replacement in San Antonio, it’s becoming clear that the pairing of Gobert and sensational guard Donovan Mitchell is starting to fray at the seams both on the court and in the locker room.

If Utah decides that the young, athletic guard is more essential to their style of play than the best defensive player in the game, Gobert could end up in the rumor mill this offseason. Never one to completely turn down a trade for a superstar, Masai Ujiri might have some interest in bringing Gobert to Canada.

According to NBA insider Marc Stein (subscription required), the Raptors would be among the teams interested in Gobert if Utah makes him available. Stein mentioned Dallas as a potential competitor if the Jazz start selling. He will require a ton of assets due to his monstrous contract, but he is without question an elite rebounder and defender.

Toronto Raptors rumors: Rudy Gobert would be a big-name addition.

If you’ve grown frustrated with Toronto’s lack of interior defense this year, you won’t find a better fix than this. Gobert has averaged 14.7 points, 13.0 rebounds, and 2.4 blocks per game over the last six years. He’s been named All-NBA four times and is on the verge of winning his fourth Defensive Player of the Year award in five years.

On one hand, Gobert is a limited offensive player because he lacks a very refined scoring toolbox outside of dunking the ball. On the other hand, that interior presence is exactly what the Raptors need. They can put up with some limitations if Gobert keeps performing at an All-NBA level.

Gobert has an insane contract, as he is due to make an average of $41 million for the next four seasons. Toronto will find it nearly impossible to acquire him without getting a third team involved. As unlikely as this trade may seem, the Raptors need to at least kick the tires on it. They’ve seen first-hand how good Gobert can be.

While it’s easy to mock Gobert for his lack of postseason success, the idea that Mitchell and the Jazz as a team aren’t performing up to par might explain why this team can’t win the big one. A fire sale or retool that sees them part with Gobert could be an unexpected windfall for a Raptors team crying out for a player with the Frenchman’s talents.

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