NBA Rumors: Celtics Could Trade Three Players And Draft Picks For Rudy Gobert

Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz dunks the ball against the Denver Nuggets during the second half of Game Four between the Denver Nuggets and the Utah Jazz of the first round of the playoffs at the AdventHealth Arena at the ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on August 22, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
Ashley Landis-Pool / Getty Images

All-Star center Rudy Gobert is eligible to sign a contract extension with the Utah Jazz, but as of now, the team hasn’t given a strong indication that they are planning to give him a new deal this fall. If they fail to reach an agreement regarding a contract extension, the Jazz are expected to make him available on the trading block instead of taking the risk of losing him in the 2021 free agency without getting anything in return. One team expected to express interest in acquiring the French big man from the Jazz is the Boston Celtics.

In a recent article, Eddie Bitar of Fadeaway World included a Gobert-to-Celtics trade on his list of blockbuster deals that could happen in the 2020 offseason. In the proposed scenario, Boston would send a package that includes Marcus Smart, Daniel Theis, Robert Williams, and two future first-round picks to Utah in exchange for Gobert. Though it would cost them a fan-favorite in Smart and a couple of future first-rounders, Bitar believes that trading for Gobert would be worth it for the Celtics.

“Rudy Gobert is the best defensive big man in the NBA and a former Defensive Player of the Year winner. He’s 7 ft tall, blocks shots due to his incredible wingspan, and has the intangibles to be a very effective player on both ends of the floor in Boston’s system. Gobert is a Free Agent after next season, and, likely, Utah won’t pay him. It will come at a cost for Boston to acquire him this offseason, but Gobert might be worth it. By pairing lockdown defender Marcus Smart and 2 capable big men in Daniel Theis and Robert Williams, the Celtics might have enough to offer.”

Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz shoots the ball during the third quarter against the Denver Nuggets in Game Seven of the Western Conference First Round during the 2020 NBA Playoffs at AdventHealth Arena at ESPN Wide World Of Sports Complex on September 01, 2020 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.
  Mike Ehrmann / Getty Images

Trading for Gobert would make a lot of sense for the Celtics. They may have recently signed Tristan Thompson to a two-year, $19 million contract to address their need for a starting-caliber center, but at 6 feet, 9 inches, he’s undersized for his position. Gobert would provide the Celtics with the frontcourt reinforcement that they need to have a better matchup against powerhouse teams with dominant big men like Bam Adebayo (Miami Heat), Joel Embiid (Philadelphia 76ers), Giannis Antetokounmpo (Milwaukee Bucks), Anthony Davis (Los Angeles Lakers), and Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets).

The arrival of Gobert would tremendously boost the Celtics’ performance on both ends of the floor, giving them a very reliable scoring option under the basket, an incredible rebounder, and a quality rim protector. Last season, he averaged 15.1 points, 13.5 rebounds, and two blocks while shooting 69.3 percent from the field, per ESPN.

If the deal becomes a reality, it would not only be beneficial for the Celtics, but also for the Jazz. In exchange for the French big man, they would be receiving an established veteran who could defend multiple positions in Smart and two big men to boost their frontcourt depth in Theis and Williams. The Jazz could use the two future first-rounders to add young and promising talents to their team or include them in separate deals to build a more competitive roster.