The Utah Jazz and center Rudy Gobert have reached an agreement on a contract extension, the team announced Monday. The deal is for four years and $102 million, per The Undefeated’s Marc Spears. This will keep Gobert away from restricted free agency and in Utah through the 2020-21 season.
Gobert, 24, is already a massive success story for the Jazz front office. They drafted him No. 27 overall in 2013 and changed the identity of the team when they made him a starter and traded Enes Kanter in 2015. At 7-foot-2 with a wingspan longer than 7-8 and impeccable defensive timing, he has developed into the best rim protector in basketball. While his offensive game has room to grow, this deal is another win for Utah, as it has avoided giving him a full max contract.
Had Gobert elected to play out the season and simply produced like he has when healthy the last couple of years, he could have surely commanded a five-year maximum contract in the summer. Depending on what happens with the new collective bargaining agreement, that max could be even higher than the max in the current system. Instead, he took less than the max under this CBA, just like Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo did and Oklahoma City Thunder big man Steven Adams is reportedly about to officially do.
For Gobert, this is validation after most of the league passed up on his potential. For the Jazz, this is another sign that they’re going in the right direction. If they aren’t already one of the best teams in the league, they should be soon, as long as they keep their core together. Gobert is an essential part of that core, and now he can be a part of the recruiting process when Gordon Hayward hits free agency next summer.
Courtesy: CBS Sports