How Rudy Gobert trade impacts Dallas Mavericks: 1. Western conference shakeup
The trade vaults the Timberwolves up the Western Conference power rankings and knocks down the Jazz, but both teams are still behind the Mavericks. Golden State takes the top spot as the defending champions. The Suns, Grizzlies, Nuggets, Clippers, and Mavericks stand in the top six with Minnesota, New Orleans, Portland, and the Lakers looking to challenge for a playoff spot.
The conference is incredibly deep, and there will be no easy path to reaching the play-in tournament much less the playoffs. Health, chemistry, and form figure to shape the standings. Any of those ten teams could win the West if things break right as the Clippers, Blazers, Timberwolves, and Pelicans figure to be significantly improved if they stay healthy.
The Mavericks were in the final four this year, and Luka Doncic is improving his game every day. Dallas will be back in the playoffs as long as Luka is healthy for 60 regular-season games. The Mavs lost Jalen Brunson, but their depth is improved.
The Mavericks would love to match up against the Timberwolves in the playoffs as Doncic will exploit the defense of Karl-Anthony Towns. He will force switches and relentlessly attack the big man.
The Rudy Gobert trade shook up the league, and Kevin Durant is still on the trade block. The entire league is waiting for that domino to fall, and it will certainly have ripple effects across the NBA, so stay tuned.