Minnesota Timberwolves 2013 NBA Draft Player Profile - Rudy Gobert
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Article

Rudy Gobert

Rudy Gobert

FRANCE - Cholet (LNB French Pro A)
Year: N/A
Position: Center/Forward
Height: 7-foot-1
Weight: 220 lbs.
Editor’s Note: Throughout the month of June, Timberwolves.com will profile a series of prospects that could be available at Minnesota’s No. 9 or 26 picks, or if they choose to move up during the 2013 NBA Draft on June 27.Part VII highlights French center Rudy Gobert, a player whose size, wingspan and upside make him an intriguing first round prospect.



Mark Remme
Wolves Editor/Writer

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Mock Draft Projections: 1st round, picks 10 through 22

2012-13 Season (Cholet – LNB French Pro A): 8.3 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 0.3 APG, 1.8 BPG, .723 FG%, .703 FT%
2011-12 Season (Cholet – LNB French Pro A): 4.2 PPG, 3.6 RPG, 0.2 APG, 1.3 BPG, .760 FG%, .429 FT%
2010-11 Season (Cholet Junior Team): 14.9 PPG, 10.3 RPG, 1.4 APG, 2.3 BPG, .617 FG%, .542 FT%

Center/forward Rudy Gobert is an international player who brings an incredible amount of upside to this year’s draft. A France native who is well-connected with members of the French National Team who have NBA experience, Gobert has a circle of contacts with whom he can confide in getting prepped for what it takes to play in this league. Among that group is Wolves forward Mickael Gelabale, and he said he shares an agent with Blazers forward Nicolas Batum. From afar, he’s spent his time watching the NBA and said he knows how all the teams in the NBA looked last season and can see where he might fit.

That includes the Wolves.

"Of course, I would love to play with (Ricky) Rubio, my friend (Mickael) Gelabale, Andre Kirilenko, (Alexey) Shved, (Nikola) Pekovic,” Gobert said. “Yeah, there might be more international players than American players, so yea that would be nice."

From a performance standpoint, Gobert continued to improve over the past three years as he transitioned from the Cholet Junior Team to Cholet of the LNB French Pro A League. Last season, he shot 72.3 percent from the field over a 26-game span during league play, then hit on 85.7 percent of his shots during three games in Eurocup play. He is not an incredibly polished rebounder for his size—he only brought down 5.2 boards per game last year—but he is an excellent shot blocker. He also hit 70.3 percent of his free throws during French Pro A play last year, up from 42.9 percent the year before. He’s a player who takes pride in setting good screens and bringing energy on both the offensive and defensive ends of the floor.


STRENGTHS

Physically, Gobert has the ability to be a game-changer on the defensive end. He stands 7-foot-1 and has a wingspan of 7-foot-8 ½, making him not only a strong shot-blocker but also a player who can defend well on the pick-and-roll and disrupt passing lanes. He has shown the ability to be mobile on the defensive end, making an impact on help defense while being able to rotate in the paint. On the offensive end, Gobert impressed Wolves President of Basketball Operations Flip Saunders with his shooting ability at Wednesday’s workout. He also showed he has athleticism during a late-workout transition dunk drill. Gobert also has experience working the pick-and-roll and takes pride in the screens he sets as well as being able to roll hard to the basket. From an intangible standpoint, Gobert brings international experience having grown up and played in France, which is always helpful in bringing an eclectic dynamic. He brings a focused and hard-working demeanor, another welcomed trait by any NBA franchise.

WEAKNESSES

According to Saunders, Gobert is a player with talent but is likely three years away from making an impact in the NBA. Saunders said he is further along in his development offensively than he imagined, particularly shooting the ball, but he will need to put in some work along the way. In particular, his 7-foot-1, 220-pound frame showcased great length, but he will need to get stronger in order to handle the NBA’s often bruising and physical interior play. He said he’s working on getting his legs and upper body stronger for the season. That will help with him being able to keep his balance in the post.

THEY SAID IT

"Of course, I would love to play with (Ricky) Rubio, my friend (Mickael) Gelabale, Andre Kirilenko, (Alexey) Shved, (Nikola) Pekovic. Yeah, there might be more international players than American players, so yea that would be nice." — Center Rudy Gobert

WHAT HE CAN BRING TO THE WOLVES

Gobert has the size you love to see out of a center—he has that 7-foot-1 height and has a wingspan nearing 7-foot-9. He can essentially dunk without jumping. You can’t teach that type of size, and he certainly can bring a rim-protecting presence for an NBA team. He hasn’t been a focal point of his teams’ offenses, which fits the type of profile the Wolves are currently looking for in a rotation center. But as Saunders said, Gobert will be a bit of a project for an NBA team. He’s got to improve his strength before making an impact at the NBA level, and Saunders isn’t sure he’ll be able to make a big impact on an NBA roster during his first couple years in the league. Overall, the type of player who will bring international experience and size to a roster. But with the Wolves looking for someone who will make an immediate impact at No. 9, Gobert likely won’t fill that particular criteria.

Minnesota Timberwolves All-Time Draft Picks

Year
Player
Pos.
School
Rd / Pick
Ht / Wt
Class
2012
Robbie Hummel
F
Purdue
2 / 58
6'8" / 215
Sr
2011
Derrick Williams
F
Arizona
1 / 2
6'8" / 248
So

Donatas Motiejunas
F/C
Italy
1 / 20
7'0" / 222
Int'l
2010
Wesley Johnson
G/F
Syracuse
1 / 4
6'7" / 215
Jr
Luke Babbitt
F
Nevada
1 / 16
6'9" / 225
So
Trevor Booker
F
Clemson
1 / 23
6'8" / 240
Sr
Paulo Prestes
C
Brazil
2 / 45
6'11" / 260
Int'l
Hamady Ndiaye
C
Rutgers
2 / 56
7'0" / 235
Sr
2009
Ricky Rubio
G
Spain
1 / 5
6'4" / 180
Int'l

Jonny Flynn
G
Syracuse
1 / 6
6'0" / 185
So

Ty Lawson
G
North Carolina
1 / 18
5'11" / 195
Jr

Wayne Ellington
G
North Carolina
1 / 28
6'4" / 200
Jr

Nick Calathes
G
Florida
2 / 45
6'6" / 194
So

Henk Norel
F
Netherlands
2 / 47
6'10" / 230
Int'l
2008
OJ Mayo
G
USC
1 / 3
6'4" / 200
Fr
Nikola Pekovic
C
Montenegro
2 / 31
6'11" / 265
Int
Mario Chalmers
G
Kansas
2 / 34
6'1" / 190
Jr
2007
Corey Brewer
F
Florida
1 / 7
6'9" / 185
Jr

Chris Richard
F
Florida
2 / 41
6'9" / 255
Sr
2006
Brandon Roy
G
Washington
1 / 6
6'6" / 215
Sr

Craig Smith
F
Boston College
2 / 36
6'7" / 250
Sr

Bobby Jones
F
Washington
2 / 37
6'7" / 215
Sr

Loukas Mavrokefalidis
F
Greece
2 / 57
6'11" / 260
Int'l
2005
Rashad McCants
G
North Carolina
1 / 14
6'4" / 207
Jr

Bracey Wright
G
Indiana
2 / 47
6'3" / 210
Jr
2004
Blake Stepp
G
Gonzaga
2 / 58
6'4" / 194
Sr
2003
Ndudi Ebi
F
Westbury Christian H.S.
1 / 26
6'9" / 195
HS

Rick Rickert
F
Minnesota
2 / 55
6'11" / 215
So
2002
Marcus Taylor
G
Michigan State
2 / 52
6'3" / 195
So
2001
Loren Woods
C
Arizona
2 / 46
7'1" / 245
Sr
2000
Igor Rakocevic
G
Yugoslavia
2 / 51
6'2" / 184
Int
1999
Wally Szczerbiak
F
Miami (Ohio)
1 / 6
6'7" / 244
Sr

William Avery
G
Duke
1 / 14
6'2" / 180
So

Louis Bullock
G
Michigan
2 / 42
6'2" / 180
Sr
1998
Rasho Nesterovic
C
Slovenia
1 / 17
7'0" / 248
Int

Andrae Patterson
F
Indiana
2 / 46
6'9" / 240
Sr
1997
Paul Grant
C
Wisconsin
1 / 20
7'0" / 245
Sr

Gordon Malone
F
West Virginia
2 / 44
6'11" / 215
Jr
1996
Ray Allen
G
Connecticut
1 / 5
6'5" / 205
Jr
1995
Kevin Garnett
F
Farragut Academy H.S.
1 / 5
6'11" / 220
HS

Mark Davis
F
Texas Tech
2 / 48
6'7" / 210
Sr

Jerome Allen
G
Pennsylvania
2 / 49
6'4" / 184
Sr
1994
Donyell Marshall
F
Connecticut
1 / 4
6'9" / 220
Jr

Howard Eisley
G
Boston College
2 / 30
6'3" / 180
Sr
1993
Isaiah Rider
G
UNLV
1 / 5
6'5" / 215
Sr

Sherron Mills
F
Virginia Commonwealth
2 / 29
6'9"
Sr
1992
Christian Laettner
F
Duke
1 / 3
6'11" / 235
Sr

Marlon Maxey
F
UTEP
2 / 28
6'8" / 250
Sr

Chris Smith
G
Connecticut
2 / 34
6'3" / 191
Sr

Tim Burroughs
F
Jacksonville
2 / 51
6'8"
Sr
1991
Luc Longley
C
New Mexico
1 / 7
7'2" / 265
Sr/Int

Myron Brown
G
Slippery Rock
2 / 34
6'3" / 180
Sr
1990
Felton Spencer
C
Louisville
1 / 6
7'0" / 265
Sr

Gerald Glass
G
Mississippi
1 / 20
6'6" / 221
Sr
1989
Pooh Richardson
G
UCLA
1 / 10
6'1" / 186
Sr

Gary Leonard
C
Missouri
2 / 34
7'1" / 246
Sr

Doug West
G
Villanova
2 / 38
6'6" / 200
Sr

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