Minnesota Timberwolves Are Finally Going for It After Rudy Gobert Trade

The Minnesota Timberwolves took the greatest gamble of the offseason on Friday, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. They traded for All-Star centre and three-time Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert.

It was worth the exorbitant cost. Gobert reportedly received five players and four future first-round picks, three of which are unprotected.

That's one of the steepest costs in a star trade in recent memory, up there with the Thunder's 2019 picks for Paul George and Russell Westbrook and the Rockets' 2021 pick for James Harden.

Except for George, none of those trades turned out well for the team trading future picks for the talent. Despite the risk, it's impossible to criticise the Timberwolves' decision, and their boldness is remarkable.

After 20 years as doormats, the Timberwolves are suddenly competitive. Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez bought the team from Glen Taylor with the purpose of turning it around. Early results are promising.

Chris Finch led the Wolves to the playoffs in his first full season as coach and was rewarded with a contract extension. Anthony Edwards, the No. 1 choice in the 2020 draught, is one of the league's fastest-rising stars

Tim Connelly, who created a successful Denver Nuggets organisation, will manage their basketball operations department.

Many teams would feel like they've improved after making all those changes and adding Karl-Anthony Towns to a four-year, $224 million agreement

Getting Gobert, even for what they had to give up, is Connelly's first bet on his new team. Too many teams fear betting on themselves.

Since Kevin Garnett's departure in 2007, numerous Timberwolves teams have fizzled. Injuries and terrible draught picks derailed the Kevin Love-Ricky Rubio era.

The Towns-Andrew Wiggins combination briefly returned to the playoffs under Tom Thibodeau and Jimmy Butler before Butler wore out his welcome and forced a trade in 2018-19

Thibodeau was sacked the same year, and the organisation plummeted back to oblivion until Edwards' arrival.

Minnesota finally has a nice thing going post-Garnett that isn't a fluke. Edwards will only grow better, and Towns is one of the most offensively skilled big men in the league at 26.

They have a good coach and a new basketball executive with a proven track record in Denver. Despite a first-round playoff exit, the Timberwolves organisation is optimistic about the future.

Now was the moment to act. Slowing Edwards' development while holding on to draught picks would have been sensible, and Connelly might have adopted a careful approach while learning his new job. He recognised a chance to raise the Wolves' ceiling and took it.

Gobert is Towns' ideal frontcourt counterpart on paper. His superior rim protection can cover for Towns' defensive flaws, and Towns' varied offence can make it harder for opponents to play Gobert off the floor like they did the last few years in Utah

Not simply a famous name, but a near-perfect match to a reluctant franchise cornerstone.

At worst, this is a playoff team, which the Timberwolves haven't been since the Garnett and Marbury days. If Connelly's bet that Gobert and Towns fit well together and Edwards becomes a superstar in a couple years, all of those picks will be in the 20s.

Swinging isn't a "no-brainer." It's a danger that might set back the franchise for a decade. It's impossible to dislike a team that sees an opportunity and says "screw it."