Jazz Reward Rudy Gobert With Largest Contract Ever for an NBA Center

Rudy Gobert With Utah Jazz Backdrop

  • Rudy Gobert has agreed to a five-year extension deal with the Utah Jazz worth $205M.
  • Gobert is a two time Defensive Player of the Year winner and a three-time All-NBA team selection.
  • He is currently third in the current odds board to win the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year award at +375.

The man who shut down the 2019-20 NBA season has been rewarded handsomely, not for that infamous tag, but because of his franchise-altering defensive presence.

Two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Rudy Gobert has been given a five-year contract extension worth $205M by the Utah Jazz. The deal is the biggest ever in the history of the league for a player playing the center position and it is the third largest deal ever, behind Giannis Antetokounmpo’s ($228M) and Russell Westbrook’s 2017 deal with the OKC Thunder ($206.8M).

By extending Gobert, the Jazz have now locked up their two franchise cornerstones for the next five years, giving the franchise and new majority team owner Ryan Smith a clear path towards continuity.

In a statement, Gobert said:

Back to Back DPOY Winner

Gobert has developed into one of the NBA’s best centers in his seven season with the Jazz, establishing himself as one of the league premier defenders. The 27th pick of the 2013 NBA draft spent most of his rookie season in the D League after he was traded to the Jazz. Since getting called to the main roster, he has never looked back.

The Stifle Tower won back to back Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2018 and 2019. He is a three-time member of the All-NBA team and four-time member of the All-Defensive First team. Gobert made his first All-Star game appearance last season, averaging 15.1 points and a career-best 13.5 rebounds per game while leading the league in dunks. With his 7-9 wingspan, he has blocked a total of 989 shots during the past six seasons, the most by any player during that period.

He has averaged 14.7 points, 12.6 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks per game in the last four seasons where the Jazz have made the playoffs. Utah making the playoffs in the last four years is a testament to Gobert’s growth as a defensive anchor as well as the arrival of Donovan Mitchell. The Jazz won only 25 games during Gobert’s rookie season. They have certainly come a long way from that.

Gobert Shut Down the NBA Season

For all his defensive accolades, Gobert will go down in NBA history as the only player to shut down the entire league. Back in March, Gobert was the first player to test positive for the COVID-19 virus. The game between the Jazz and the OKC Thunder on March 11th was suspended in the aftermath and that was the start of the NBA shutdown that lasted for four months.

Gobert’s reckless actions toward COVID-19 also led to star player Donovan Mitchell contracting the virus. It reportedly led to a rift that could have ruined Utah’s plans. Fortunately for Utah, cooler heads prevailed and the two settled whatever differences they had and moved on to play together during the NBA bubble.

The Jazz though had a disappointing finish to their Orlando bubble tournament appearance. After clinching the 7th seed in the Western Conference, Utah stormed to a 3-1 lead over the 2nd seeded Denver Nuggets and were one win away from creating a major upset. However, the Nuggets rose from the grave and won the series. Despite that, Donovan Mitchell had a breakout playoff series while Gobert returned from the COVID-19 issue better than ever, especially on the defensive end of the floor.

High on Gobert in 2021

Oddsmakers are high on Gobert this season. He is currently third in the 2021 Defensive Player of the Year oddboard at +375, behind only Anthony Davis (+225) and Giannis Antetokounmpo (+325). It can be recalled that these three were the finalists for the same award during the 2019-20 season with Antetokounmpo winning the award and making history, with Davis and Gobert finishing second and third, respectively.

Gobert is also tied for second with Hassan Whiteside in the current oddsboard to become this season’s leading shot blocker at +375. Only Anthony Davis has shorter odds at BetOnline.ag at +225. Last season, Gobert ranked tied for 5th with an average of 2.0 blocks per game. He is also favored to average over 12.5 rebounds per game at -175. The Stifle Tower is coming off a season where he and Whiteside were tied for third in rebounding at 13.5 boards grabbed per contest. He is third in the current oddsboard to become this season’s rebounding leader at +400 behind Andre Drummond’s +140 and Giannis’ +325.

As for his team, the Jazz have been pegged to win a total of 42.5 wins this season or a 59% winning percentage. Last season Utah won 44 games with a 61.1% winning percentage and they finished 3rd in the Northwest Division and 6th in the Western Conference playoffs standings. As of 12/20/20, Utah has the 2nd best odds to win the Northwest Division at +210 and they have the 7th best odds to win the West at 2500.

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