By Antonis Stroggylakis/ email@example.com
Minesotta Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert was premiering in the EuroBasket when his former team Utah Jazz essentially entered rebuilding mode by trading star guard Donovan Mitchell to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
“I think he has a bright future,” Gobert told Eurohoops when asked about the Mitchell trade. “He’s one of the best young players in his position. He’s going to keep getting better. I think it’s a great opportunity for him to just get to a new system, a new team and be able to show what he can do.”
The Mitchell-Gobert tandem was over earlier this offseason after a partnership of five years and two trips to the Western Conference semifinals for the Jazz. In 2021, the team finished with 50-21, marking the first time the franchise had the best record in the NBA.
It was Gobert’s trade to the Timberwolves that basically launched the massive overhaul that the Jazz are doing this summer. The three-time All-Star and three-time DPOY was traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for Patrick Beverley, Malik Beasley, Jarred Vanderbilt, Leandro Bolmaro, the draft rights to the Walker Kessler plus several draft picks.
The Jazz didn’t stop there and, on September 1st, the Mitchell trade was announced. Utah got back Lauri Markkanen, plus Collin Sexton, Ochai Agbaji and three Draft picks.
“That’s what Danny Ainge decided to do,” Gobert said to Eurohoops. “Sometimes you always have to explore all different options. That’s what they did. Time will tell if it was good or not. I think he definitely did a great job in getting as many assets as possible. ”
Gobert was kind enough to indulge Eurohoops with some NBA-related questions while he currently channels his focus to the French national team’s quest to win the gold medal in the EuroBasket. His squad just got its first win in the tournament by beating Lithuania and recovering from a sloppy start and defeat to Germany.
“I thought we started the game really slow and when we picked it up defensively the intensity and communication was great,” Gobert said. “When we do that we are the team we want to be. And offensively we want to move the ball, play balanced basketball. Taking care of the ball was important.”
Gobert led the charge on defense, shutting down some doubters after his display in the loss to Germany.
“People look at numbers,” Gobert said. “in the NBA, there are more rebounds, points, possessions, everything. FIBA basketball is different it’s about winning. For me, the greatest thing for a player is winning. Getting a medal like in the Olympics. And the goal is the medal this year too.”