Option No. 5: Rudy Gobert, Minnesota Timberwolves
Minnesota’s argument for making this type of deal was covered earlier – except sending away Gobert rather than Conley or Towns would be massively more appealing.
The organization decided to swing for the fences and trade way too many assets for a player making way too much money. The Wolves would surely be willing to let Gobert leave and recoup as many assets as possible – probably any assets at all, really.
But why would the Blazers take on someone else’s problem?
For starters, Portland could possibly coax out a draft pick or two out of Minnesota to take on its unwanted, expensive baggage.
As onerous as Gobert’s contract is (he signed a five-year, $205 million deal with the Utah Jazz), it expires in 2025-26, assuming he picks up a player option for $47 million, which can be written in stone already.
That means the Blazers would get a bigger chunk of salary off the books and do so two years earlier than they would with Grant.
And hey, there’s a chance The Stifel Tower brings his shot blocking to Rip City as the rim-protector Portland needs behind its defensively challenged guards. In three years, the Blazers could be ready to make a real playoff run, in which case Gobert’s skill set may actually be valuable in the final year of his deal.
Stranger things have happened…right?