Update: Gobert has been suspended for the NBA play-in tournament game Tuesday night against the Los Angeles Lakers, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Timberwolves center Rudy Gobert isn’t traveling with team to LA and won’t play vs. the Lakers on Tuesday in the Play-In tournament, sources tell ESPN. pic.twitter.com/Gey3twxchn— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) April 10, 2023
Update: The Timberwolves have sent Gobert home. He’s done for the rest of this game, and we’ll see what kind of update there is after the contest depending on where the Timberwolves end up in the standings.
Timberwolves have sent Rudy Gobert home after Gobert threw punch at teammate Kyle Anderson during a timeout huddle, per sources. He is out for remainder of game.— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) April 9, 2023
Update: Well, Gobert is back in the locker room after stirring up some trouble on the bench.
Rudy Gobert throws a shot at teammate Kyle Anderson during a timeout. pic.twitter.com/dRzi3ALkoJ— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) April 9, 2023
I’m not sure what the argument was, but the big man was agitated enough to take a shot at Anderson in the middle of a crucial game for the team’s seed. The Timberwolves are in the play-in no matter what but would like to avoid the No. 9 spot. That’s where they’ll be if they lose Sunday’s contest to the Pelicans.
Update: Gobert has returned to the contest, and is playing through the back issue. The Timberwolves want to avoid the 9-10 play-in spot at all costs, and Gobert is ready to power through some pain to try to make that happen.
Minnesota Timberwolves big man Rudy Gobert exited Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Pelicans with a back injury. Gobert was questionable coming into the contest but ultimately did suit up with Minnesota trying to get the No. 7 seed in the play-in tournament. The Timberwolves are locked into a play-in spot, but getting the No. 7 or No. 8 seed means two chances at the postseason instead of being in a single elimination scenario.
Rudy Gobert should not be playing right now. He is obviously hurting.— The Daily Wolves (@TheDailyWolves) April 9, 2023
Gobert had two points and two rebounds in nine minutes of action before leaving the game. The Timberwolves are a bit thin in the frontcourt, with Luka Garza and Nathan Knight looking at potentially seeing real minutes in a play-in game if Gobert isn’t healthy. Karl-Anthony Towns will likely shift into the center role as long as Gobert is sidelined but Naz Reid’s injury means Garza and Knight are in the mix for playing time.
If the Timberwolves lose this game, they are locked into the No. 9 seed regardless of other results.