The Chicago Bulls have arguably been the most widely discussed team when it comes to potential trade partners for Utah’s Rudy Gobert. And Matt Moore of The Action Network and Locked on Nuggets Podcast just added even more fuel to the fire.
When discussing potential opportunities for Denver to trade up on draft night, Moore named Chicago as a team who could help them out. Why? Because the Bulls are now the expected landing spot for Gobert and adding the Nuggets’ No. 21 and No. 30 picks could help bolster a Gobert trade package.
No surprise, they’re trying to stockpile assets for the Gobert trade, which by the way, kind of the expectation around the league at this point is Gobert is going to go to Chicago. That’s like, what I’ve heard,” Moore said on the latest Locked on Nuggets Podcast.
So … wow.
Considering how thin the Bulls are in draft capital, it’s not hard to buy into the front office expressing interest in such a move. Not to mention, Denver could be an easy trade partner for Arturas Karnisovas, who has plenty of previous connections inside that front office.
Regardless, what stands out far more than the idea of acquiring picks from Denver is how confidently Moore spoke about a Gobert-Bulls marriage. He directly states that this has become the “expectation” around the league, which comes as a pretty big surprise considering the sheer magnitude of the move.
The Bulls’ interest in Gobert was always believable due to their previously aggressive offseason moves and severe lack of rim protection. But an actual deal still felt unlikely (and I think still is). Others teams could offer a more attractive package, and Gobert is also owed $167.7 million over the next four seasons. That’s a tall price to pay for an aging center, especially one who lacks the kind of floor spacing this front office previously appeared to covet.
We also can’t forget the most recent news we heard about a Gobert pursuit splashed some real cold water on the idea. Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported that Arturas Karnisovas remained unwilling to move Patrick Williams in a deal alongside Nikola Vucevic for the defensive-minded big man. While it’s not impossible for a deal to get done that doesn’t include Williams, it sure is hard to believe the Jazz wouldn’t demand the 2020 No. 4-overall pick in return. Not only would the Jazz need his defensive talents in the frontcourt, but he’s the kind of high-upside player teams often get when trading someone of Gobert’s caliber.
My jaw would easily be in the basement garage of my apartment building if this move went down (I live on the fifth floor). In my opinion, I always felt like this Gobert news has been more of a smoke screen than anything, as almost every big move this front office has made has been kept tightly under wraps. But, hey, I’ve been wrong before! The fact that his name keeps coming up means there is at least something going on, so we’ll have to continue to monitor these rumors closely.