Should the Memphis Grizzlies pursue a Rudy Gobert trade?

The NBA Finals may be at the forefront of most basketball talk, but the offseason rumor mill is starting to percolate. While the Memphis Grizzlies tend to operate in the shadows, perhaps this is the offseason in which they come out swinging for a big acquisition to build on another year of growth and playoff advancement.

The Grizzlies should consider calling Danny Ainge over in Utah to see what his next moves are after Head Coach Quinn Snyder resigned and reports emerging that All-Star player Donovan Mitchell is “unsettled” and “unnerved,” according to Senior NBA Insider Adrian Wojnarowski.

The Jazz are likely to resist offers for Mitchell, choosing to (re)build a team around the 25-year-old, according to Joseph Zucker of Bleacher Report.

This would likely leave the team more open to the idea of trading their other All-Star, Rudy Gobert— the towering 7’1″ French native and 3x All-Star.

Should the Memphis Grizzlies consider a trade for Rudy Gobert?

If the Utah Jazz are truly looking to hit the reset button and rebuild around Mitchell, they will likely want to shed salary, get young prospect(s) and picks for Gobert.

Any team who is interested in the 3x Defensive Player of the Year will have to pay a hefty price to get Gobert’s services.

Memphis could check off all those boxes with several different offers, but one that may work for both sides would be a deal that is rife with risk for the Grizzlies.

Memphis could offer up Steven Adams and Dillon Brooks (who are both entering the final season of their respective contracts), plus 2021 first-round pick Santi Aldama, and Golden State’s 2024 1st Round pick.

Grizzlies Get
Rudy Gobert
Jazz Get
Steven Adams
Dillon Brooks
Santi Aldama
2024 GSW 1st Round Pick

There are some risks in acquiring a player entering his age 30 season, but those risks are not greater than the potential rewards Gobert would likely bring to the Memphis Grizzlies.

At 30, Gobert is at his ceiling. He’s not going to appreciate in value or production. But, if you can keep him healthy for the final four years of his contract, that’s a price worth paying, albeit a massive, 5-year, $205 million one.

Internally, the Memphis Grizzlies would be counting on a big second-year leap from Ziaire Williams, who would be the starter after this hypothetical trade. You would likely be looking at a starting lineup of Ja Morant, Desmond Bane, Ziaire Williams, Jaren Jackson Jr., and Rudy Gobert.

If the idea of acquiring a name like Rudy Gobert seems crazy to you, count The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor as someone who believes Gobert could be a good fit in Memphis.

Having two All-Defensive First Team players in the starting lineup would be a luxury that no other team in the NBA currently enjoys.

Gobert as an anchor would allow Jackson to focus on developing his offensive game and could  potentially keep him from spending so much time on the bench due to the constant foul trouble in which he usually finds himself.

If either Jackson or Gobert get in foul trouble, the Grizzlies would still have great coverage and offensive production— we’ve seen what Brandon Clarke can do when called upon.

Also, think of the sick lobs Ja Morant could throw to Gobert once he drives into the lane and defenses blitz him with a double team.

The former No. 27 overall pick overaged 15.6 PPG, 14.7 RPG, 2.2 BPG, and 1.1 APG during the 2021-22 regular season.

At the end of the day, Zach Kleiman and the front office will have to decide if Gobert is the man worth pushing most of the team’s assets to the middle of the table.