Bulls emerge as possible trade spot for Rudy Gobert
The Utah Jazz have no apparent interest in trading All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell. Not even after a tumultuous couple months that featured a forgettable performance in the first round of the playoffs and the departure of longtime coach Quin Snyder.
Rudy Gobert, on the other hand, could be a different story.
According to Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer, the Jazz have engaged multiple teams about the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, with the Chicago Bulls emerging as a possible suitor. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor was first to mention the Bulls as a potential landing spot for Gobert.
If such a trade materializes, Gobert would immediately be placed among a strong supporting cast featuring star DeMar DeRozan and dominant perimeter defenders Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. Zach LaVine is about to become an unrestricted free agent.
Two-time All Star center Nikola Vucevic, who despite coming off a down season still has much to offer, would likely have to be involved in a potential deal. It’s unclear who else the Bulls would be willing to part with. The Jazz would almost certainly target No. 4 overall pick Patrick Williams, a potential two-way forward they’ve missed since the likes of Gordon Hayward.
Chicago’s lack of draft capital hurts them in the trade market. The Orlando Magic will either have the Bulls’ top-four protected first-round pick in 2023 or top-three protected 2024 pick as a result of the Vucevic trade. The Spurs are additionally in line to receive a lightly protected pick in 2025 from the DeRozan trade.
As for Gobert, his five-year, $205 million contract that runs through 2025-26 with a player option worth $46 million in the final season adds another complicated layer. Shelling out that money for a player whose poor perimeter defense and lackluster shot-creating ability has come into question throughout the playoffs is a risk the Bulls will have to be willing to take.
Along with the Bulls, the Raptors, Hawks and Mavericks have all reportedly expressed interest in Gobert. With several other teams also likely to emerge, the market for the NBA’s best rim-protector is just heating up.