Last summer, the Minnesota Timberwolves sent shockwaves across the NBA when they traded five players and five future first-round draft picks to the Utah Jazz for All-Star center Rudy Gobert.
Many scratched their heads and wondered what in the world they were thinking, and some even ridiculed them for giving up so much capital for Gobert.
The pairing of Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns on Minnesota’s frontline hasn’t worked very well, as Gobert is limited offensively, and the team has thus far fallen well short of expectations.
Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch told Colin Cowherd that the thinking behind the Gobert trade was to go against the grain and do something that no one in the league is really doing right now.
.@Timberwolves head coach Chris Finch on pairing Rudy Gobert and KAT:
"We thought while the rest of the league is zigging, we might zag and see if it works… Let's try and be different." pic.twitter.com/NebbFgotHO
— Herd w/Colin Cowherd (@TheHerd) March 1, 2023
In the 1990s, the NBA was a big man’s game dominated by prominent centers and power forwards, and just about every team played at a very slow pace while only exploring fast-break or early-offense opportunities when absolutely necessary.
But over the last several years, offensive philosophies have shifted thanks to teams such as the four-time world champion Golden State Warriors, and the predominant style of play entails an up-tempo offense where the floor is spread out with multiple 3-point shooters.
Plenty of teams do not have a single inside presence on offense, but the Timberwolves thought they would have two in Gobert and Towns.
However, they rank just 23rd in offensive rating, and Gobert’s numbers are down across the board this season.
There is lots of pressure on them to make this pairing work given all the draft picks they gave up to get Gobert, and they seem to lack the assets to go out and get more pieces in order to make it work.NEXT: The Timberwolves Are Struggling After A Recent Trade