Rudy Gobert, the shot-blocking sensation, and the Utah Jazz are working on a maximum contract extension, per league sources.
Gobert, drafted in 2013, is currently eligible for an extension, and will engage in talks with the Jazz front office upon returning from Rio where he represented the French national team.
Last month, Chris Haynes of Cleveland.com reported that Gobert’s camp postponed the extension talks due to the Olympic Games in Rio. Gobert had to attend a French training camp before departing for Brazil.
With France losing to Spain on Wednesday’s quarterfinals, Gobert’s Olympic campaign is done. He is expected to fly back to the United States ahead of Utah’s training camp next month.
Utah Jazz and Rudy Gobert's camp have agreed to postpone extension talks until after Olympics, league sources tell @clevelanddotcom.
— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 12, 2016
Rudy Gobert: Top global star in the NBA?
Gobert, who averaged a career-high tally of 9.1 points, 11 rebounds and 2.2 blocks last season, is viewed by analysts as the best international player heading into the new season.
Recently, ESPN insider Bradford Doolittle ranked Gobert ahead of Kristaps Porzingis, Nikola Jokic, Al Horford, and Giannis Antetokounmpo as the best global talent in the NBA.
“Gobert wouldn’t rank first if we leaned on overall real plus-minus (RPM), but his defensive RPM is the best on the board, as are his projected rebound and block percentages. On offense, he’s efficient when he’s not turning the ball over.
With just a little offensive growth, Gobert will justify this lofty ranking,” Doolittle wrote in his insider piece.
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Last season, Gobert also clocked a career-high 31.7 minutes per game and finished third in the league in Blocks Per Game (2.2) and second in Defensive Box Plus / Minus ahead of stalwart defenders Paul Millsap, Draymond Green and DeAndre Jordan.
The Jazz, anchored by Gobert’s defense, allowed only 95.9 points per game as a team last season, the second best defensive unit in the league behind the San Antonio Spurs.
Even though Gobert has two years left on his rookie contract, the 2017-2018 season is a qualifying offer. In recent years, we’ve seen the likes of Anthony Davis, C.J. McCollum and Andre Drummond sign long term max extensions before the expiration of their rookie contracts.
By signing Rudy Gobert to an early extension, the Jazz would avoid the drama of free agency.