Well before head coach Quin Snyder shocked his side and the game by departing after eight great seasons, the league predicted that the Utah Jazz‘s offseason in 2022 would be a season of tremendous change.
Donovan Mitchell has the option of requesting his release from the only franchise he has ever competed for. A Rudy Gobert deal would be the greatest domino to fall this offseason in terms of roster changes. Several teams have expressed interest in acquiring the three-time defensive player of the year. Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported that the Toronto Raptors are interested in signing the three-time All-Star. He also stated that officials told the site that if Gobert became available, the Chicago Bulls would pursue him.
Two Rudy Gobert to Chicago Scenario
There’s been no word on whether the Jazz is seriously considering bids for the center. If they do want to move forward with Mitchell, as has been suggested, bringing in the Frenchman to make some major adjustments would be the logical next step. Let’s look at how a Gobert to Chicago trade may look if the Bulls are able to execute a deal.
While Gobert is an exceptional defensive player, he is occasionally considered as an attacking liability, particularly given his hefty salary. It’s an agreement which will give him over $40 million per season starting in 2023-2024 and includes a $46 million final-year player option. A deal with that kind of cash is a little more challenging.
Possible trade option
One alternative is to swap one player who is being paid much more than he merits. After back-to-back All-Star seasons, Bulls player Zach LaVine will be asking for a max contract valued at $212 million in free agency. However, that could be too much for the Bulls to handle financially. However, they might see the Gobert as a significant upgrade and a great way to get something in exchange. They will allow LaVine to go for nothing in free agency by relocating him in a sign-and-trade deal.
The Jazz were locked into a multi-year contract with Gobert for nearly $40 million per year. However, allocating that money to a new-look team headed by Mitchell and LaVine may be a significant victory for them. It would allow them to improve the team without incurring additional contractual responsibilities.
If the Jazz does not want to spend the maximum amount of money on LaVine, another possibility is to transfer Gobert to Chicago in exchange for center Nikola Vucevic, guard Alex Caruso, and the 18th overall pick in this year’s NBA Draft.