Rudy Gobert signs multiyear contract to stay with Jazz
Kareem Copeland | The Associated Press
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Rudy Gobert has signed a multiyear extension to remain with the Utah Jazz, the team announced Monday.
The Jazz did not release the details of the deal, but Gobert tweeted a picture of himself signing the paperwork with the caption “4 more years!”
Gobert was drafted No. 27 overall by the Denver Nuggets in 2013 and traded to the Jazz on draft night.
The 7-foot-1, 245-pound center last season averaged career-highs in points (9.1), rebounds (11.0) and blocks (2.2) and has developed into one of the top defenders in the league the last two years. Those numbers have increased to 11.0 points, 12.0 rebounds and 2.7 blocks through three games this season. His career average of 2.0 blocks per game ranks third in Jazz history behind Mark Eaton and Andrei Kirilenko.
Gobert became the full-time starting center midway through the 2014-15 season when Enes Kanter was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Jazz are 56-44 with him in the starting lineup.
Gobert, 24, was set to become a restricted free agent in July, when he could have signed an offer sheet with another team. The Jazz, however, would have had the rights to match that deal and keep him in Salt Lake City.
Gobert is considered one of the steals of the 2013 draft and the Jazz have become one of the best defensive teams in the league with him as the centerpiece at the rim. The contract gives Gobert the security of having the deal done and, likely, saves the team a few million that he may have gotten as a restricted free agent.
This is also the first step of locking up the team’s young core of players. Gordon Hayward is expected to opt out of the final year of his deal after this season and will likely command a max offer. Derrick Favors’ deal runs through 2017-18.
The Jazz recently picked up the team option on the contracts of Rodney Hood, Dante Exum and Trey Lyles. The moves keep the youngest part of the team’s nucleus on their rookie deals through the 2017-18 season.