Charles Barkley does not like the Wolves’ Rudy Gobert trade
Midway through the season, the Minnesota Timberwolves boast a dismal 22-23 record and have yet to find their identity as a team. The biggest problem is the newest addition from this past offseason: center Rudy Gobert.
The trade between the Timberwolves and Jazz for the Frenchman’s services involved the Wolves offloading Walker Kessler (first round pick), Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, four first-round picks and a pick swap for Gobert.
Charles Barkley had some words to say about the Gobert trade as he’s clearly been displeased with the 30-year-old’s performance. One thing that makes the trade even worse is that it was at the cost of the Wolves’ future.
The offseason acquisition of Gobert had, by far, the biggest trade package when compared to other deals. The Jazz were a top-five defense last year and a hefty chunk of that success was due to Gobert’s rim protection. Despite Gobert’s arrival in Minnesota, it has not translated to the Wolves as they currently sit at 13th in defensive rating, according to Basketball Reference.
With the emerging season and playoff play that Anthony Edwards had last year, you would think that adding a defensive big man would take pressure off Edwards. However, it’s done the exact opposite.
“The smaller we go, the better it is for me,” Edwards said.Quote via The Athletic
Edwards’ feelings on the Gobert deal and subsequent performance this season are seemingly well known. In the NBA, the game is transitioning towards smaller, more versatile players, which isn’t the direction the Timberwolves took this offseason.
A team that seemed to have found its rhythm last year has lost it all and feels like there is now a chokehold on its future. At this point, the Wolves have to pray that Edwards can transform his game around Rudy Gobert because, as we’ve seen with the Donovan Mitchell-Gobert Jazz teams, Gobert won’t change.
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