Athletic, mobile big men who can protect the rim and run the floor are few and far between — the antidote to small-ball in the NBA.
“All those teams playing small, if they had DJ (DeAndre Jordan) or (Rudy) Gobert they would take them tomorrow… There are just not a lot of guys who do what they do,” Clippers’ coach Doc Rivers said.
The Jazz decided to lock up the guy they got and have agreed to terms of a four-year extension to the rookie contract of Rudy Gobert, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports.
This is a good deal for both sides.
Utah’s plans to leap up into the upper echelon of the NBA is based around a stingy defense of which Gobert is the anchor — he is irreplaceable to them. The $100 million figure is up there, but it is a few million less than the max and certainly less than the max next summer if Utah had let him become a restricted free agent — and make no mistake, other teams would have offered Gobert the max.
He is as good a shot blocker and rim protector as there is in the NBA — when he was on the court last season opponents shot just 41 percent of their attempts within five feet of the rim, a league low. He’s athletic, mobile, and gets buckets by outrunning guys in transition. His offense needs work, but is improving and he can get buckets.
Gobert was someone the Jazz needed to lock up, and they did before his price went up. Another smart move by a team that made a lot of them this summer (and now just needs to get healthy).