Insider Says Gobert Trade Could Cost Wolves Naz and McDaniels

Photo Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Bill Simmons had Ryen Russillo on for his weekly NBA appearance and couldn’t help but to bring up the Rudy Gobert trade. They started by recapping Derrick White’s miracle play and the Boston Celtics’ Game 6 win before discussing the new collective-bargaining agreement. They do a deep dive on the CBA about 1:08 into the podcast, touching on a few teams that it will affect the most, including the Phoenix Suns, Los Angeles Lakers, and Philadelphia 76ers.

The way Simmons explained the new CBA, teams essentially will be able to pay two players. He calls it the Hollywood model. Top Gun: Maverick gets two headliners (Tom Cruise and Miles Teller), has a star in a limited role (Jon Hamm), and a cast of solid role players. That’s trouble for teams that built a Big 3, have bad contracts on the books, or have a lot of young talent. For example, Simmons questions how the Oklahoma City Thunder will keep all of the stars they have developed once their rookie deals are up.

Simmons and Russillo break down the Lakers and Philadelphia’s situation before taking aim at the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Here’s Simmons:

I look at Minnesota, they’re at $144 (million) right now, and Naz Reid’s a free agent. We joked about Rui [Hachimura], Naz Reid might actually be like a $17-18 million guy. I think Naz Reid is good.

So they probably lose him, so now that [Rudy] Gobert trade gets worse because you’ve lost Walker Kessler, all those picks, you lost [Jarred] Vanderbilt, now you’re also losing Naz Reid, and you’ve created this team that has Gobert and Anthony Edwards and [Karl-Anthony] Towns, and you basically can’t put anyone around them anymore.

What happens to Jaden McDaniels in two years when he’s a new contract guy? Are you able to keep all four of those guys?

Many fans were out on the Gobert deal the day Minnesota traded for him. Others soured on it as the season went along, even with Towns missing most of the year. Edwards and Gobert didn’t always mesh on the floor together, Kessler had a great season with the Utah Jazz, and Vanderbilt and Malik Beasley helped revive the Lakers down the stretch.

Meanwhile, the Timberwolves won 42 games, two less than last year, and underperformed against sub-.500 teams. They finished as the eight-seed, and the Denver Nuggets almost swept them. The Wolves sorely missed McDaniels and Reid in the playoffs. And while Edwards, McDaniels, and Reid ascended, Gobert, 30, showed signs of decline. Reid may be good as gone anyway because he could start elsewhere. But losing McDaniels would be a big blow.

It’s late May, Minnesota has been out of the playoffs for a month, and the national media is still slamming the Gobert trade.

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