Rudy Gobert On His Future in Utah

September 21st, 2015 | by Ben Dowsett
Photo by Melissa Majchrzak - NBAE via Getty Images

Photo by Melissa Majchrzak – NBAE via Getty Images

The French National Team wrapped up EuroBasket play with a bronze medal win over Serbia over the weekend, but the interesting summer notes for Jazz fans didn’t stop there. On Monday, Rudy Gobert appeared via phone on Tony Parker’s podcast, known as “The Tony Parker Show” on iTunes, and had a few heretofore unheard things to say about his potential future with the Jazz.

The following is a French-to-English transcription of a portion of the podcast, during which Parker asks Gobert in very plain terms about his plans for the years ahead, and his comfort level in Utah. A big thanks to Max Jacoby for alerting Salt City Hoops to the podcast, and for taking the time to transcribe this portion for those of us who don’t speak fluent French. For those who do and wish to listen to the entire broadcast, it can be found here (the section in question begins at roughly the 21:30 mark). The relevant transcription:

 

Tony Parker: Concerning your contract, in any case, there won’t be any problems with Utah, it’s going well and you want to stay there?

Rudy Gobert: Me, I want to stay there.

Jacques Monclar (co-host, jokingly): He’s gathering information.

Tony Parker (also jokingly): I thought we could get him for the Spurs, but I know Utah won’t let him leave.

Rudy Gobert: Frankly, I like it there and I like the project. Of course, we all know how the NBA works, but I don’t think Utah will let me leave and I like it there. I think our future is bright.

 

This isn’t world-altering news, but it is one of the first times Rudy has addressed his future in Utah with any real specificity since his breakout season. This is in part because it’s still a bit early on most fans’ radar for such talk — Gobert doesn’t need to have an extension worked out until over a year from now, and the general assumption is that with a skyrocketing cap corresponding nicely with the large raise he’ll be due, keeping him around at a big number won’t be a concern.

That’s likely correct, but this is still a very positive thing to hear Gobert say. He’s proven recently that he’s not shy about expressing his true feelings in any situation, whether or not it’s politically correct to do so — he might not air a laundry list of issues if he was unhappy with the Jazz, but it’s a safe bet he also wouldn’t have gone to such lengths to point out his happiness with the organization if he hoped to be elsewhere.

Also relevant are the multiple references just in this short block to Utah’s own intentions. Both Parker and Gobert directly imply that Utah will do everything in their power to keep Rudy in town as long as possible. Again, this isn’t unexpected in any way, but given the players who have walked away from the Jazz in free agency in recent years, both restricted and unrestricted, it’s positive reinforcement that Rudy already gets this sense from Utah’s brass.

There were a few other nuggets to be found in the podcast, again courtesy of Max Jacoby:

  • As of Monday, Rudy remains in France. He should be returning to Utah within the upcoming days, one would expect.
  • Rudy is still trying to digest France’s gut-wrenching loss to Spain in the EuroBasket semifinals, one where they had a big lead in the fourth quarter before coughing it up and losing in overtime.
  • Gobert said the team goal for this season is to make the playoffs, straight up. Individually he wants to continue the big steps he took last season, with a particular emphasis on diversifying his offensive game.
  • Parker noted specifically how much fun it was to play with young French up-and-comers like Gobert, Joffrey Lauvergne and Evan Fournier, saying he felt the state of French basketball was in excellent hands with the next generation of stars.

 

Ben Dowsett

Ben Dowsett

Ben Dowsett is a life-long Jazz fan and current in-depth analyst based in Salt Lake City. He also writes for Basketball Insiders and BBallBreakdown, and can be heard on SCH Radio on ESPN 700 weekly. He can be found on Twitter at @Ben_Dowsett.
Ben Dowsett
Ben Dowsett

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7 Comments

  1. IDJazzman says:

    Well, I know I wouldn’t trade Rudy for DeAndre Jordan or Andrew Bogut. I think Rudy could be the 2nd best defensive player in the league, Anthony Davis being the best and that even might be debatable?

    • Mewko says:

      Draymond Green, Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Jimmy Butler, and Derrick Favors are all elite defenders who can effectively guard multiple positions. But Rudy is VERY dominant. Opponents FG% at the rim with Gobert was less than 40%, and it wasn’t even close. Rudy got a couple of his teammates to discover their defensive talents were big, and the team went from worst to first.

    • rvalens2 says:

      With Gobert holding down the center position, the Jazz future certainly looks bright. I wouldn’t be willing to trade Rudy straight across for any single player in the league.

  2. Paul Johnson says:

    I’m glad Rudy likes Utah, because the feeling is mutual–at least as far as I can tell. I haven’t heard any fans state anything but superlatives about Rudy (although a few fans are a bit less enthusiastic than most fans–such as they don’t believe that Rudy is the next Wilt Chamberlain or Bill Russell, as most of us believe). We are lucky to have him–especially as a number 27 pick in the draft.

  3. Spencer says:

    I’ll jump on the Rudy love fest here. Isn’t it amazing that it isn’t crazy to say we would not trade him straight up for any player? Anthony Davis is the only player that gives me pause to that statement, and I would trade teams in a 100 years with NO.

  4. Steve says:

    I love Rudy. He is going to be an amazing player, but to say that we wouldn’t trade him for Anthony Davis is just ridiculous. Roughly equivalent on Defense,but Anthony Davis is a far superior offensive player. In fact, I believe Davis is or will be this year the best offensive big in the league.
    However given what the investment for Gobert was, man that was brilliant move. Gobert is definitively the bast return on investment in the league right now.

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