Sometimes Halloween feels like Christmas. Just ask some of the NBA’s best young players who were in line for lucrative contract extensions Monday.
Utah big man Rudy Gobert is one of them, with a draft status – No. 27, near the end of the first round in 2013 – that makes his new deal an even happier achievement. It’s one thing for lottery picks to fulfill their well-scouted potential, but it’s another for a relative sleeper to boost his game and his net worth so dramatically.
How dramatically? The Vertical was the first in reporting Gobert’s extension with the Jazz:
So it doesn’t appear that Gobert’s enthusiasm in playing for the Jazz – whether he got a new deal by Monday night’s deadline or not – hurt his leverage. Even before the extension talks picked up momentum, the Salt Lake Tribune made it seem as if Gobert was going to be Staybert, as far as the Utah operation was concerned:
"I just love the way we've built this team," the 7-foot shot blocker extraordinaire said this week. "I love the coach. I love the organization. I think we're going to be great in the near future. That's the main reason why I'd like to stay."
So even with Monday night's deadline to work out a contract extension looming and no deal yet in place, Gobert didn't appear to be worried about the outcome.
"We've got a good relationship with [Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey], my agent, everybody," Gobert said. "There's no hurry to do anything. I'm good here. They like me here."
Nine figures over the next four years, that’s how much the Jazz like Gobert, 24, who is averaging 12 points, 13.1 rebounds, 2.9 blocks and 2.2 assists so far this season.