Rudy Gobert Blasted: "A Shadow Of The Player" He Was In Utah

Did the Minnesota Timberwolves get fleeced in their Rudy Gobert deal with the Utah Jazz? That seems to be the argument that Wolves insider Jon Krawczynski is making in The Athletic today.

Thirty-four games into their first season with Gobert... After watching [him] get outplayed by a rookie center [Orlando Robinson] on a two-way contract in a loss to the severely short-handed Miami Heat on Monday night, the Timberwolves have to ask themselves if the Gobert they got in the trade with the Jazz is a shadow of the player who was such a force in Utah for so many years, or just one that needs a little more time to find his way.

On the surface, the former 3-time Defensive Player of the Year's numbers are down all the way around. His 13.9 points and 12.1 rebounds are each down a couple of notches from last year, and his 1.2 blocks per game are a far cry from his 2.2 career average. 

In fact, in their latest loss, to the Heat, Monday night, Gobert was benched down the stretch in favor of Naz Reid, who had a wonderful game, with 21 points and 11 rebounds in just under 30 minutes. 

"Gobert’s struggles with catching passes from his teammates in traffic, securing rebounds that are contested and blocking shots to intimidate opponents have made it difficult for him to inspire faith from his teammates," writes Krawczynski

This isn't what the T-Wolves expected when they dealt, essentially, five first-round picks and three other players to the Jazz for Gobert. 

"There are so many people across the league, and increasingly in the Timberwolves’ pain-stricken fan base, who believe the move was destined to fail. Through all of the uneven play in the first third of the season, the Wolves have maintained that they just need more time to acclimate to playing an entirely different style with Gobert than they did last season."

The team has to hope that the acclimation process is still a work in progress.

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