NBA News, Rumors: Rudy Gobert Expected to Get Utah Jazz Extension; Chemistry with Boris Diaw Improving
French center Rudy Gobert is reportedly expected to receive a contract extension from the Utah Jazz before the deadline passes on Oct. 31.
Gobert, 24, was the 27th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft. Oct. 31 was the deadline for draft picks of the said year to have a contract extension from their respective mother clubs or else go into restricted free agency next summer. At the moment, the Frenchman has yet to receive one from the Jazz.
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According to Larry Brown Sports, the former Cholet Basket standout is "considered the likeliest candidate of those still on the board to be extended before the deadline at the end of the month."
Gobert was one of Utah's most productive players last season, averaging a career-high of 9.1 points, 11.0 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 31.7 minutes per game under head coach Quin Snyder. He did it while playing only 61 games because of a sprained MCL in his right knee.
The Frenchman was not only a contributor on offense. He was also the team's defensive anchor, being one of the league's top rim protectors alongside Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside in the last two seasons.
Gobert has also improved his free-throw shooting as he recorded 29-for-38 (76.3 percent) in four games in the preseason so far. He shot 56.9 percent last season and 58.5 throughout his career.
Among his other draft batchmates, the Blazers' CJ McCollum (four years, $106 million) and the Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo (four years, $100 million) were the only players who got an extension, so far.
Meanwhile, the Salt Lake Tribune reported that Gobert's chemistry with veteran teammate Boris Diaw, who is also the young center's teammate with the French national team, has been improving after playing together in the said four preseason games.
"I think he (Gobert) can be very efficient," said Diaw, who at 34, is entering his 14th season in the NBA. "Any time he catches the ball inside the paint, he's a threat to the other team."
"It's always good to find ways to get him the ball close to the basket," he continued.
"I think Boris does have an impact on him," Snyder said. "Any young player that's in a new system, you can get going really fast, and Boris has a bit of a calming effect on him."