Rudy Gobert Just Became the Richest Center in NBA History
Rudy Gobert has been an under-appreciated center in the NBA for years, and he was just rewarded with a massive contract. On Sunday morning, Gobert agreed to a five-year extension with the Utah Jazz worth $205 million. The deal makes Gobert the richest center in the history of the NBA and sets the Jazz up to be a top contender in the Western Conference for years to come.
Rudy Gobert is one of the best centers in the NBA
Rudy Gobert isn’t a flashy name in the NBA world, but the 7-foot-1, 258-pound giant has been one of the most productive centers in the league for years.
What makes Gobert special is his ability to protect the rim on defense. Gobert has averaged over 2.0 blocks per game in each of the last six seasons. He even led the league in blocks per game (2.6) in 2016-17. Gobert won back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2018 and 2019, and he’s been named an All-NBA center three times.
Gobert didn’t have a polished offensive skillset when he entered the league in 2013, but he’s steadily improved his scoring in recent years. The center is coming off two straight seasons in which he averaged more than 15.0 points per game. He shot a career-best 69.6% from the field last year and also notched a career-high in rebounds per game (13.5).
Gobert still has plenty of time to improve at age 28, so the Jazz are making sure he spends the rest of his prime years in Utah.
The Utah Jazz sign Gobert to a $205 million contract extension
After the most productive and efficient season of his career, Gobert struck the jackpot with the Jazz. On Sunday morning, Tim MacMahon of ESPN reported Gobert and the Jazz agreed to a five-year extension worth $205 million.
“It means that they believe in me,” Gobert told ESPN. “They believe in what we’ve been building over the years with this whole organization, with Coach [Quin Snyder] and all the guys. For me, it’s an incredible blessing. It’s a very motivating feeling to know that we all share the same vision and we all share this goal for this state and for this franchise.”
With his new deal, Gobert becomes the third-highest-paid player in NBA history behind just Giannis Antetokounmpo and Russell Westbrook.
Rudy Gobert’s contract is the largest for a center in NBA history
Gobert’s contract extension isn’t just life-changing for the talented center. It’s also historic. Gobert’s new deal is the largest for a center in NBA history. Only two players have signed larger contracts in the history of the league.
Gobert will make over $35 million in 2021-22, the first year his contract kicks in. In 2025-26, he will earn a whopping $46.6 million. Not too shabby.
All stats courtesy of Basketball Reference