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3 reasons why a Rudy Gobert trade to the Toronto Raptors makes sense

Vincent Frank

There’s a darn good chance that we’ll see the Utah Jazz pull off a Rudy Gobert trade at some point this summer.

Utah is coming off a first-round exit at the hands of the Dallas Mavericks. There’s continued talks of a rift between the All-Star center and teammate Donovan Mitchell. Assuming Mitchell is safe in Salt Lake, it makes perfect sense for Jazz general manager Justin Zanik to trade Gobert.

Further back east and across the United States’ northern border, the Toronto Raptors are the team that’s been linked to Rudy Gobert trade talks recently.

“The Jazz are weighing trade possibilities with three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert, who NBA sources have pegged as one of Toronto’s targets to satisfy its appetite for a starting rim-protector.”

Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer on Rudy Gobert trade talks

The very same report goes on to note that Raptors forward OG Anunoby might want out — making a potential trade much more likely. Here’s a look at three reasons why it makes sense for both Utah and Toronto.

Related: Ideal Rudy Gobert trade scenarios from the Utah Jazz

Rudy Gobert trade would fill make need for the Toronto Raptors

rudy gobert trade to the toronto raptors
Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto is flush with wing-ish style players in that of reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Scottie Barnes, star forward Pascal Siakam, Gary Trent Jr., Precious Achiuwa and Anunoby. It needs to clear some of that up.

Hence, why Toronto was linked to Indiana Pacers big man Myles Turner ahead of the NBA trade deadline. Having proven his worth over the past several years, Gobert would be a much better option than Turner.

  • Rudy Gobert stats (2016-22): 14.8 PPG, 13.1 RPG, 67% shooting

A core group of Gobert, Siakam, Barnes and Fred VanVleet would be just tremendous in Toronto. It’s a much more well-rounded roster than what we saw during the team’s surprising 48-win 2021-22 season.

Related: Trades we could see during the 2022 NBA Draft

OG Anunoby would be a perfect fit for Utah in Rudy Gobert trade

NBA: Playoffs-Philadelphia 76ers at Toronto Raptors
Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

With Mitchell looking every bit the part of a franchise cornerstone, it stands to reason that Utah will attemp retool rather than rebuild. It will want to get immediate impact performers. Anunoby fits into that category big time.

Anunoby more than fits into that category. The wing has upped his game every season since Toronto made him a first-round pick in the 2017 NBA Draft out of Indiana. He’s also coming off a career-best 2021-22 campaign.

OG Anunoby stats (2021-22): 17.1 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 2.6 APG, 44% shooting, 36% 3-point

At still only 24 years old, Anunoby could end up being that No. 2 star behind Donovan Mitchell in Utah. He also seems to be a much better fit given his scoring ability and perimeter game.

Related: Rudy Gobert contract and NBA’s highest-paid players

Rudy Gobert trade package to the Toronto Raptors

Anunoby is playing under a mere four-year, $72 million contract. Given Gobert’s average annual salary of $41 million, finances would dictate other moving parts heading to the Jazz. Value in a potential trade adds another layer to that.

  • Jazz get: OG Anunoby, Gary Trent Jr., Khem Birch
  • Raptors get: Rudy Gobert, Nickeil Alexander-Walker

In addition to OG, the Jazz would be bringing in a potential 20-point per game scorer in Trent Jr. It would give the team much more firepower in what is a loaded Western Conference.

As for Toronto, moving off Trent Jr. would hurt. With that said, it will have to add an asset like that to make a deal of this ilk work.

The Raptors would still have three potential 20-point scorers in VanVleet, Siakam and Barnes. It would also boast one of the best defensive bigs in the game to go up against the likes of Joel Embiid and others back east moving forward.