If I had a dollar for every time I wrote the words “Rudy Gobert” this offseason, I’d almost have enough money for a fresh tank of gas (which, ya know, is really saying something).
Even as this rumor has persisted for weeks, those felt like particularly strong words, especially given how much of a blockbuster it would (will?) be. The Bulls would undoubtedly have to part with significant assets to bring Gobert to town; not to mention, the acquisition would surely shake up the Eastern Conference hierarchy as we know it. We also shouldn’t forget that numerous other teams are reportedly interested in prying away the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, so there will be other downstream impacts, throughout the league.
With all of that in mind, it’s a bit hard to buy into the fact that a deal is truly “expected” at this point in time. But it’s not hard to buy into the fact that Chicago is up to something behind the scenes.
Indeed, long-time NBA insider Marc Stein added to the Gobert conversation in a recent Spotify Live session. While he did question the likelihood of a deal getting done, he confirmed Chicago as a perceived frontrunner:
“Like I said, they are the team that people talk about the most with Utah. But I can’t sit here and handicap it. There are some people who think the Jazz might elect to just hang onto him. How much in the Jazz [head coach] interviews is it coming up? Do you want to coach Rudy Gobert? Is it salvageable for Gobert here? Chicago is certainly near or at the front of the line. But I don’t think we can say it will for sure happen at this point.”
As Stein threw some room-temperature water on the Gobert rumors, NBC Sports Chicago’s K.C. Johnson opted for the ice water.
Here’s what the local insider had to say in his latest column:
And yet little of how Karnišovas and his staff have constructed the Bulls has been conventional.
It’s why the Bulls are landing in trade rumors seemingly daily, the largest of which are centered on three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert. League sources have indicated that, at least as of this writing, the rumors are overstated.
I NEED ANSWERS, PEOPLE!
The longer this rumor drags on, the more I don’t know what to believe. On one hand, it’s not at all hard to imagine Arturas Karnisovas seeking out such a move. He’s blindsided us with high-risk trades in the past, and the Bulls are currently in a win-now situation. At the same time, I’m still not sure if Gobert fits with the kind of style this front-off has seemed to covet due to his lack of spacing and facilitating.
Of course, we also can’t forget that the organization is already depleted of future assets. A move for Gobert would come with a significant price to pay, so does the organization believe Gobert is the final piece of a championship puzzle? I could potentially be talked into it.
Regardless, these are the types of questions we normally get into if a deal is imminent, and that is extremely hard to determine right now. So I guess all we can do is wait for the next rumor.