Rudy Gobert arrived in Utah seven years ago as a relative unknown, without a lot of fanfare and with some serious questions about his potential.
Those days are long forgotten.
Gobert has signed a contract extension with the Jazz, the team said on Sunday (Monday in Manila) without divulging terms. A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the deal is worth $205 million over five years, though Gobert holds an option to end the deal one year early.
”Rudy’s competitiveness and will to win have been instrumental in watching how he has grown and evolved into an elite player in our league,” Jazz coach Quin Snyder said. ”He is dedicated to his teammates and to winning here in Utah.”
The move, first reported by ESPN, was announced two days after Ryan Smith was confirmed by the NBA’s board of governors to become the owner of the Jazz, and is the capper to an offseason where Utah committed perhaps as much as $400 million to Gobert and Donovan Mitchell over the five seasons that span from 2021-22 through 2025-26.
The Jazz signed Mitchell to an extension last month that could reach $195 million over those five years.
”I’m here to stay, and I’m here to WIN a championship,” Gobert wrote in a letter — he addressed it ”Dear Utah” — posted to Twitter on Sunday. ”I’m here to win with my brothers, I’m here to win with Coach Q and I’m here to win with you, Utah. Let’s get it. Merci.”
Gobert is a three-time All-Defensive team player, a two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year and made the All-Star team last season for the first time. The 7-foot-1 native of France — with a 7-foot-9 wingspan — has blocked 989 shots in the last six seasons, more than anyone else in the NBA during that stretch.
He averaged 15.1 points and a career-best 13.5 rebounds last season and led the NBA in dunks.