Utah Jazz have landed a $38 million star player from timberwolves.

Utah Jazz have landed a $38 million star player from timberwolves.

Rudy Gobert is NBA DPOY for record-tying fourth time

After losing to the Utah Jazz in the first round of the 2022 NBA Playoffs, the team has undergone a number of notable changes. Will Hardy has taken over as head coach in place of Quin Snyder, but the biggest moves were made when Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert were traded.

With these changes, the Jazz went from winning 49 games in 2022 to 37 in 2023 and 31 in the previous campaign. It goes without saying that the Jazz in the post-Mitchell/Gobert era are still trying to figure out who they are.

The Jazz certainly have plenty of young talent that has the potential to become stars; we haven’t seen it yet. Furthermore, expectations fell flat the instant the Jazz chose to pull off those headline-grabbing moves, particularly because the majority of the recovered assets would not pay out immediately.

Nevertheless, the Jazz were able to acquire a number of interesting players through trade, and one of them is apparently already up for grabs.

The Utah Jazz, who had traded Rudy Gobert to the Minnesota Timberwolves, were helped greatly by Walker Kessler, a rookie who was chosen 22nd overall in the 2022 NBA Draft, during that trade. In college, the 7-foot center received the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year award for his outstanding play as a rim protector.

It’s reasonable to say that after two years of play, Kessler’s shot-blocking skills have transferred quite nicely to the NBA. Kessler raised his average of 2.3 blocks per game to 2.4 last year, even as a rookie. Although Utah only gave him 22 minutes a game, he hardly played; still, when converted to a 36-minute average, Kessler’s BPG skyrockets to 3.7.

 

However, Jake Fischer of Yahoo reports that the Jazz might potentially be open to selling the 22-year-old shot-blocking guru.

It is quite surprising to hear that Utah is already thinking about moving on from Kessler, even though we don’t know what other moves the Jazz have planned. Although Lauri Markkanen is also seven feet tall, his profile fits much better as a power forward because of his ability to score from the outside and lack of rim protection. They do not have a ready-made alternative on the roster.

However, the Jazz have a lengthy offseason and somewhat more than $38 million in cap space, which gives them the opportunity to be bold in free agency. In the 2024 NBA Draft, Utah is also holding the 10th, 29th, and 32nd overall picks. It seems logical that the Jazz are exploring all of their possibilities in front of a busy summer given their level of freedom.

 

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