3 Raptors who could be available in Rudy Gobert trade talks

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - APRIL 06: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - APRIL 06: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /
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Rudy Gobert, Khem Birch, Toronto Raptors
Nov 18, 2021; Salt Lake City, Utah, USA; Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (27) moves to the basket while defended by Toronto Raptors center Khem Birch (24) Mandatory Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports /

The Toronto Raptors will likely pull off one or two pretty big moves in the offseason, as they need to make some adjustments if they want to assert themselves as viable contenders. While trading for Utah Jazz star Rudy Gobert would be unlikely, Toronto can’t rule out the idea of adding one of the best defensive players in NBA history.

Gobert has reportedly become so frustrated with Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz that he gave Utah an ultimatum. Either he or Mitchell needs to be traded. Toronto played the entire 2021-22 season without a competent 7-0 center in the post, making this one of the significant areas of need.

Getting Gobert is going to be fraught with difficulty. In addition to the fact that Toronto would need to part with multiple quality players to acquire Gobert’s hefty salary, Masai Ujiri would need to send large chunks of his draft capital to Utah in order to seal the deal.

While Ujiri would need to take a huge risk to bring him in, Gobert’s defense and rebounding are so exceptional that Toronto could be willing to part with those assets in order to acquire him. These three Raptors might need to start looking for apartments in Utah if Ujiri goes after Gobert.

3 Toronto Raptors who could be traded for Rudy Gobert.

3. Khem Birch

While Birch certainly would not be the type of player who could help highlight the package going to Utah, the Jazz have shown interest in revitalizing the careers of big men who have been tossed aside by other teams. Could Birch benefit from Quin Snyder’s ability to develop bigs?

Birch averaged 4.5 points per game just one year after putting up just under 12 points per game during his stint in the Tampa bubble. Considering what an incongruous fit he is on this switchable roster, Birch could be flipped to the Jazz and sold as a potential lottery ticket that Utah could cash in on.

The Toronto Raptors could trade Khem Birch.

Birch signed a three-year, $20 million contract last offseason, but he did little to prove he was worth that contract. Birch’s efficiency inside and his robust defense didn’t show up, and it left him looking like a square peg trying to fit in the round hole of Toronto’s switch-heavy scheme.

While he didn’t have his best season, Birch did suffer from injuries. If fully healthy, he could be more effective than he was during his second Raptors season. Replacing Gobert will likely be a team effort, and Birch can play a small part in helping Utah out by rebounding and defending with aplomb.