NBA Rumors: Raptors Could Acquire Rudy Gobert For Three Players & 2022 First-Rounder, Per ‘Bleacher Report’

As proposed by Bleacher Report in a new list of trade ideas, the Toronto Raptors could upgrade their defense by making a deal for Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert.

According to the publication, the Raptors currently do not have the assets in place to acquire an “elite shot-creator” to help upgrade their halfcourt offense. This, as noted, would particularly be true if the organization is indeed trying to save up on salary-cap space for a big free-agent signing in the summer of 2021. With those things in mind, the site predicted that the Raptors could focus instead on making defensive improvements as a “key to high-level success,” even if the team already ranked second in the NBA in defensive rating in the 2019-20 campaign.

In its suggested trade, Bleacher Report recommended that Toronto could land Gobert by sending three key reserves — guards Norman Powell and Patrick McCaw and center Chris Boucher — and a 2022 top-eight-protected first-round draft pick to the Jazz. The outlet pointed out that this move could help the Raptors make up for the interior defense they lost when veterans Marc Gasol and Serge Ibaka left via free agency.

“A trio of Gobert, Pascal Siakam and OG Anunoby would be a thicket of limbs, mobility and all kinds of intimidation. Throw in the ferocious combo of Kyle Lowry and Fred VanVleet, and Toronto could make outworking the opposition its championship-level skill. Gobert would also add a new element to the offense as an above-the-rim finisher after Toronto’s pick-and-roll screeners ranked second-to-last in 2019-20.”

While the Jazz have yet to show any signs that they are willing to part ways with Gobert for one reason or another, the outlet speculated that the club might not be willing to pay a large amount of money to keep him when he becomes a free agent next summer. This offseason, Utah signed veteran Derrick Favors as a free agent and drafted former Kansas Jayhawks big man Udoka Azubuike in the first round.

With those two players serving as “potential replacements” for Gobert, Powell could provide value as a “plug-and-play” wingman, while McCaw could contribute on both ends of the floor, the publication added. However, it was noted that Boucher — a big man who could block shots and shoot from long range — would only be eligible to be traded on February 23.

Apart from the Raptors, the Brooklyn Nets are another potential Eastern Conference contender that has been linked to Gobert in recent weeks. One particular trade idea suggested that the team could acquire the Frenchman for a package featuring Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Taurean Prince.

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