NBA Trade Rumors: Jazz Could Swap Rudy Gobert For Joel Embiid, ‘Bleacher Report’ Suggests

Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers drives to the basket against Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz in the fourth quarter at the Wells Fargo Center on November 16, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Mitchell Leff / Getty Images

After suffering an early exit in the 2020 Playoffs, rumors have once again started to swirl around All-Star center Rudy Gobert and his future with the Utah Jazz. Gobert may have repaired his relationship with Donovan Mitchell, but some people are still expecting the Jazz to try moving him in the 2020 offseason. Instead of giving him a massive contract extension, there are speculations that Utah could use Gobert as the main trade chip to improve their roster around Mitchell this fall.

One of the potential trade partners for the Jazz in the proposed deal involving Gobert is the Philadelphia 76ers. According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, the Jazz may consider engaging in a superstar-for-superstar trade with the Sixers that would send Gobert to Philadelphia in exchange for Joel Embiid. To further convince the Sixers to push through the deal, Buckley suggested that they should also include the No. 23 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft in the package.

If the proposed scenario becomes a reality, Buckley believes that it would benefit both the Sixers and the Jazz.

“Granted, the Jazz don’t switch positions in this swap, but Embiid offers a massive offensive upgrade without sacrificing much (if any) of the defense. Utah also has the shooting Philly has failed to give him, plus its lineup is better equipped to navigate the half-court possessions he prefers to run. The Jazz send their ceiling higher in this exchange, though their floor inevitably drops with Embiid’s myriad injury concerns. Philly, meanwhile, rids itself of Embiid’s question marks and potentially doesn’t skip a beat with a new elite interior presence coming to town (along with a first-round pick).”

Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz dunks the ball against Joel Embiid #21 of the Philadelphia 76ers at the Wells Fargo Center on November 16, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
  Mitchell Leff / Getty Images

Embiid would undeniably be an incredible acquisition for the Jazz. When healthy, there’s no doubt that he’s a much better center than Gobert. Embiid could immediately fill the huge hole that Gobert would leave on the defensive end of the floor while giving them a very reliable scoring option under the basket and in the perimeter as well as an incredible rebounder and facilitator. This season, Embiid averaged 23.0 points, 11.6 rebounds, 3.0 assists, and 1.3 blocks while shooting 47.7 percent from the field and 33.1 percent from beyond the arc, per ESPN.

Sharing the court with a floor-spacing big man like Embiid would make it easier for Mitchell to penetrate the basket or kick the ball out when he’s trapped by the opposing team’s defense. Being sent to the Jazz would also be beneficial for Embiid. Unlike in Philadelphia, Embiid would be surrounded by elite three-point shooters — like Mike Conley, Mitchell, Joe Ingles, and Bojan Bogdanovic — in Utah, which would help him maximize his full potential on the court.