The Toronto Raptors are widely expected to make some significant acquisitions as they try to maintain their status as one of the best teams in the East. Trading for disgruntled Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert would be pricy, but it doesn’t seem like Toronto is totally discounting it just yet.
The Raptors had some success with Pascal Siakam in the lineup as a small-ball center, but those wondering if such a strategy is sustainable for the long haul are on reasonably firm grounds for complaint. Adding Gobert would be the best way to improve in that area.
The Raptors need to reconcile their desire to improve with their willingness to part with draft capital. If Masai Ujiri sees no issue with giving up all of his future draft picks and a player who can help the Jazz win now, a trade might end up being consummated.
According to Marc Stein in his Substack (subscription required), the Bulls have some “ongoing reservations” about trading for Gobert, while the Raptors remain “a team to watch” in this sweepstakes. The Gobert rumors continue to persist, showing that Ujiri is seriously weighing mortgaging the future for him.
Will the Toronto Raptors end up with Rudy Gobert?
Gobert, who averaged a career-best 14.7 rebounds per game, remains an elite two-way player. Over the last six seasons, Gobert has averaged 14.8 points, 13.1 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game. He has been named Defensive Player of the Year three times and All-NBA four times.
While the Raptors have taken turns debunking the rumors that make it seem like OG Anunoby has one foot out the door, a player of his caliber would need to headline the package going back to Utah in a Gobert deal. For someone with Gobert’s pedigree, that’s the only way to make it happen.
The Raptors have consistently been mentioned as one of the leading suitors for Gobert. While the general vibe around the league seems to hint that the Bulls will make a run at the French standout, a Hawks team in need of a facelift could be interested. Toronto will be bidding against some competitive offers.
The Raptors likely won’t pull this trade off given all of the moving parts involved, but the fact that they haven’t totally squashed the rumors shows that there is a degree of interest in bringing Gobert to Toronto. It would take a ton of risk from this front office, but the idea of Gobert in red and black can’t be discounted just yet.