With a ton of international prospects in the 2013 NBA Draft, none were as intriguing as center Rudy Gobert. At just 21 years old, the Frenchman is a legitimate seven-footer with a ton of upside. However, arguably nothing we saw at the NBA Combine was as impressive as Gobert’s 7’8.5” wingspan that wowed everyone.
However, with questions about the rawness of his abilities and a seeming lack of athleticism, Gobert fell in the draft. However, when the Utah Jazz had the chance to grab the 27th pick in a trade with the Denver Nuggets, they couldn’t pass on Gobert.
Now we are getting the first look at Gobert playing in Summer League in Orlando. Through the Jazz’s first three games, it’s been about what you would expect from a raw young prospect like Gobert who has only played overseas.
In Utah’s first game on Sunday, Gobert played 25.5 minutes and finished with six points, four rebounds and three blocks on 2-5 shooting. In their second game on Tuesday, Gobert played 26 minutes and put up only four points on 2-3 shooting, but grabbed seven boards and blocked two shots. In their third game of the week on Wednesday, Gobert only saw the floor for a little under seven minutes, but still managed two rebounds and a block while going 0-1 from the field.
In terms of his rebounding and shot-blocking ability, Gobert has performed as expected. Even if he isn’t crazy athletic, his wingspan allows him to be effective in those departments. He’s also shown a high IQ on the court, making solid rotations and decisions. However, it’s clear that Gobert still has a ways to go.
One minor, as well as mildly humorous, thing that Gobert will have to adjust to is defending the rim with the NBA’s goaltending room. He’s still not completely used to not being able to swat the ball off the rim. The major thing he has to work on, though, is getting more comfortable with the ball in the post.
Gobert has a relatively slight build, which causes him to get pushed around a bit in the post, and he doesn’t have a great deal of post moves in his arsenal. He’s still obviously a raw player with a lot to learn. However, it’s nearly impossible to deny his potential that he’s shown thus far in Summer League.