Utah Jazz 2013 Player Profile: Rudy Gobert

By Robert Lin
Rudy Gobert
Joe Camporeale – USA TODAY Sports

The Utah Jazz traded with the Denver Nuggets for the 27th pick of the draft, French rookie center Rudy Gobert, who stands at 7-foot-1 and possesses a 7-foot-9 wingspan.

During the Orlando Summer League, Gobert averaged five points, 5.5 rebounds and 2.5 blocks. The Jazz likely sought Gobert out for his defensive skills. He is nearly impossible to shoot over, as his standing reach is 9-foot-7.  He has ranked no. 1 in blocks per 40 minutes and per game in Pro A France these last two seasons.

While he is only above average athletically, he is a solid pick-and-roll defender, capable of hedging out hard and rotating back to his defender.

Gobert’s main sources of offense comes from rolling after setting a pick, putbacks, and in transition. He is pretty solid on the offensive glass at about 3.7 rebounds per game. He is also an excellent target for lobs. Finally, he is a good free throw shooter for a center at 70 percent from the line. He does not have any low post offense nor a jump shot. Think of Gobert as a poor man’s version of Tyson Chandler.

While his offensive woes may be considered a weakness, his lack of strength is Gobert’s biggest hurdle in the NBA.

Gobert averages about 5.7 defensive rebounds per 40 minutes, as smaller but stronger players are able to push him around or steal his rebounds from his hands. His lack of strength and toughness prevents him from holding his ground when another player tries to establish position and it prevents him from finishing a shot through traffic.

Gobert has shown great promise during the Summer League. He has a solid work ethic and is committed to getting better. If he puts a lot of work in getting stronger, then the Jazz will have made the smart move in trading for him. Power forward Derrick Favors will be burdened with the task of scoring down low. Gobert will be a great backup to both Favors and Enes Kanter.

Robert Lin is a writer for Rantsports.com.  Follow him on Twitter @rlin2k or add him on Google.

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