Rumors: Hornets could seek Rudy Gobert in the 2022 offseason

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - MARCH 31: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz reacts to a play during the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 31, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH - MARCH 31: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz reacts to a play during the second half against the Los Angeles Lakers at Vivint Smart Home Arena on March 31, 2022 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /
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The Charlotte Hornets seemingly have to upgrade the starting center position. While Mason Plumlee did an admirable job this season, the Swarm need a dominant big man while they still have LaMelo Ball, Terry Rozier, and (presumably) Miles Bridges under contract.

With that young core intact, the Hornets could go after a big-name free agent during the 2022 offseason. While the front office has not specified if they are going to try to go for a wing or a big, there is one option that entices like no other.

Rudy Gobert signed a massive five-year, $205 million contract extension to stay with the Utah Jazz in 2020. Fast forward a few years, and the Jazz are staring down the barrel of another potential first-round playoff exit. If Utah is knocked out in the first round once again, look for their front office to shake things up substantially.

One move Utah could make is trading Gobert, who is one of the league’s premier defenders. The Hornets, who are in desperate need of defensive talent, should absolutely jump at the opportunity to snag Gobert if he becomes available.

To make the money work in a trade, the Hornets would have to send Gordon Hayward’s contract back to Utah. In addition, the Hornets could sweeten the deal with a combination of Plumlee, P.J. Washington, Kelly Oubre, James Bouknight, or future draft picks.

It would likely take quite a lot to pry the three-time Defensive Player of the Year from the Jazz, but that is why the Hornets must make an offer this offseason. If Charlotte can negotiate with a frustrated Utah front office after a first-round defeat, the Jazz may be more willing to let a franchise staple go.

While the deal would not go down until after the draft order is determined, the Swarm have a multitude of assets that they could throw into a potential Gobert trade. For a Hornets team that needs defense more than anything else, Gobert would be a welcome addition for the 2022-23 campaign.

Next. Should Hornets sign Robert Covington to help bolster defense?. dark