KSL UNRIVALED

Has Rudy Gobert Peaked In His Development?

May 23, 2019, 10:01 PM
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)...
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)
(Photo by Chris Gardner/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert has been racking up plenty of individual awards, but can he keep pushing his game further?

That’s the question on the mind of the guys on KSL’s Unrivaled.

This week, Gobert was recognized on the NBA All-Defense First Team as well as the All-NBA Third Team. The French big man was also named a finalist for the Defensive Player of the Year award, an award he won last season.

Gobert is still a relatively young player at 26 and has played six seasons in the league. He’s already been a tremendous value for Utah, which acquired him on a draft day trade during the 2013 NBA Draft with the Denver Nuggets for Erick Green (who played in just 52 over two seasons) and some cash.

Still, is there more to Gobert’s game that the Jazz can squeeze out of him?

All-NBA > All-Star Game?

Emotions were high among Jazz fans and even with Gobert himself when the Jazzman was snubbed out of participating from the NBA All-Star Game earlier in the 2018-19 season.

While making All-Star games is a major achievement for any player, Jazz fans should feel good about Gobert’s inclusion on the All-NBA teams.

It might be a bigger deal.

“I think in today’s NBA, the All-NBA team holds a little more weight than the All-Star games especially with how it effects contracts,” said Unrivaled fill-in host Matthew Baiamonte, who also hosts Cougar Sports Saturday on KSL.

Based on his All-NBA team honors, Gobert is now eligible for a super max contract extension that only Utah can offer him.

Needs To Pass Embiid, Jokic

Still, year after year, Gobert has voiced his desire to improve his game. He definitely did that last season as he set career highs in multiple categories while playing in 81 of 82 games for the Jazz.

Yet, to become a Second Team or even a First Team selection on the All-NBA squads, Gobert will have to pass Philadelphia’s Joel Embiid and Denver’s Nikola Jokic, players who have vastly superior offensive skill sets and were named to teams ahead of Gobert.

It’ll take a lot of work and increased development from Gobert, but if he’s proven anything in his NBA career, it’s that he can exceed expectations.

Tune into KSL’s Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast.

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