Billions of dollars exchanged hands as the NBA’s free agency era exploded on a day of mega-deals and trade frenzy.
NBA free agency’s first full day did not disappoint.
Utah’s decision to send All-Star Center Rudy Gobert to the Timberwolves headlined a day of madness and mega deals.
Just one day after Kevin Durant’s trade request blew up the Brooklyn Nets, the whole league is now being shaken up.
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Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN First reported on Saturday morning, the Jazz agreed to trade the star center to Minnesota as part of a crazy deal that will see the Wolves give up four players and four NBA Draft picks in the first round.
Gobert’s trade came about when news of several maximum contract extensions, including Zach LaVine’s $215 million decision to stay with the Chicago Bulls and New Orleans star Zion Williamson signed a five-year rookie max contract worth up to $ 231 million, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania†
The deals came in quickly on Saturday morning, including:
Minnesota gives Malik Beasley, Patrick Beverley, Jarred Vanderbilt, No. 22 draft pick Walker Kessler on four NBA Draft picks in the Gobert trade.
– Klutch Sports Group also announced that Jusuf Nurkic has agreed to a $70 million four-year contract to remain with the Portland Trail Blazers and John Wall has agreed to a $13.2 million two-year deal to cover the Los Angeles Clippers to play.
— Mitchell Robinson remains with the New York Knicks, according to ESPN and the New York Daily News, on a four-year deal worth $60 million, while Gary Payton II joins Portland on a three-year deal for $28 million.
— Spanish Guard Ricky Rubio, 31, has reportedly signed a three-year deal worth $18 million with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
– Devin Booker has reportedly agreed to a $224 million four-year deal to remain in Phoenix, while young Memphis star Ja Morant is expected to sign a five-year extension worth $193 million.
Golden State Warrior center Kevon Looney has agreed to a $25.5 million three-year deal to return to the team, ESPN reported.
— Boston agreed to take over Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon in exchange for Daniel Theis, Aaron Nesmith, Nik Stauskas, Malik Fitts. Juwan Morgan and a 2023 first-round pick, ESPN reported.
— Williamson’s deal with the Pelicans will keep him under contract through the 2027-28 season.
Gobert’s trade to Minnesota is ‘insane’
Gobert, 30, was long rumored to be traded from Utah this off-season. The New York Post reports.
According to Wojnarowski, the Jazz are planning to rearrange their roster around Donovan Mitchell. It seems Utah has long been the target of the Knicks’ affections and doesn’t care about selling their other All-Star.
The New York native has long been rumored to be displeased with Gobert, tracing back to the Frenchman’s pivotal role in the NBA’s 2020 COVID-19 shutdown, among other complaints.
Several reports on Friday indicated that Utah is interested in Suns center Deandre Ayton, a restricted free agent, which would confirm they have no plans to tear down.
The price paid by the Wolves blew some NBA commentators away.
NBA journalist Ryan Russillo posted on Twitter: “Basically, 5 unprotected firsts for Gobert are insane”.
Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer wrote: “Five firsts for Gobert. Now imagine what the Nets will get for Durant.”
NBA commentator Bill Simmons couldn’t believe the price Minnesota paid either.
Spend the next 48 hours before Sunday’s pod with Russillo wondering if Minnesota just made the most inexplicable NBA overpayment trade of all time.
Zeven-legged Gobert is a three-time NBA All-Star and has been named Defensive Player of the Year three times throughout his career.
He has spent all nine NBA seasons with Utah, where he helped the Jazz reach the playoffs for six years in a row.
Last season, Gobert averaged 15.6 points per game, leading by 14.7 rebounds and 2.1 blocks.
In Minnesota, the player named “Stifle Tower” will team up with another great man in Karl-Anthony Towns, who has reportedly agreed to a four-year, $224 million extension.
Meanwhile, the free agency’s negotiating period had barely begun on Friday when it was reported that two-time reigning MVP Nikola Jokic was planning to sign a $270 million five-year extension with the Denver Nuggets — the largest contract in NBA history.
— with AFP
Originally published as NBA trade ‘madness’ in the day of mega deals and madness