Raptors rumors: Toronto has “degree of interest” in Rudy Gobert

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 have their set on some big offseason moves over the next few months, as such seismic shifts in the way they operate are required if they want to somehow climb into that contending tier. Taking Rudy Gobert away from the Utah Jazz could be one way to satiate the fanbase.

Gobert is supposedly at the “me or him” stage regarding fellow starter Donovan Mitchell. Keeping this pair together seems unlikely considering how the Jazz have repeatedly stalled out in the postseason over the last few years. Gobert might need to find a new home.

The Raptors have placed emphasis on versatile defenders, but the team’s lack of rim protection made it very difficult for them to do damage in the postseason. Fixing that by acquiring Gobert, which Masai Ujiri is reportedly considering, would be one way to win the offseason.

Ian Begley of SNY is reporting that the Raptors would have a “degree of interest” in trading for Gobert. This adds further validity to the conjecture we heard from Marc Stein earlier, as he listed Toronto as a destination for the three-time Defensive Player of the Year. This trade might not be as unrealistic as we thought.

Could the Toronto Raptors trade for Rudy Gobert?

Gobert averaged 15.6 points, a league-best 14.7 rebounds, and 2.1 blocks per game. While he did not win DPOY once again, he was in the running behind Marcus Smart. That ability to keep the rim safe and dominate on the boards makes him a valuable commodity.

Gobert would require multiple years of premium draft capital to head to Utah, as well as several starters like Gary Trent Jr. While OG Anunoby should be considered off-limits, the fact of the matter is that Utah will likely try to pry him away from the Raptors. Gobert has his limits, but he’s an instant All-Star candidate.

The Jazz appear to be on the precipice of a full-on rebuild thanks to the friction between Gobert and Mitchell. One of these two will go in the offseason, and the young scoring guard might get preferential treatment. Utah’s loss will be Toronto’s gain if Gobert is still effective.

Gobert would take an already solid defensive team in Toronto and turn them into a juggernaut if he is still as effective as he was in Utah. A good chunk of Toronto’s young assets would need to be surrendered to make this happen, but Ujiri sounds interested in kicking the tires on him.

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