Rudy Gobert has turned down a max contract from the Utah Jazz in hopes that he can convince them to offer him a supermax deal. While Gobert would have easily received a max deal 20 years ago, centers in today’s NBA just aren’t valued as highly, even one who has won Defensive Player of the Year twice in recent years.
If Gobert and the Jazz aren’t able to agree on an extension, perhaps the franchise looks to make a trade. The Boston Celtics have been looking for a more stable option at center after the departure of Al Horford, and they could potentially try sniffing around if the Jazz star becomes available on the trade market.
However, on the daily Locked On Celtics podcast, host John Karalis discussed the Celtics’ ongoing hunt for a center and why Gobert wouldn’t be the answer because he’s not even a max-level player:
John Karalis: Rudy Gobert just turned down a max extension because he wants the supermax. Rudy Gobert is not a supermax player. You do not in 2020, in the NBA, spend max money on Rudy Gobert, who in the regular season can do a lot of great things but in the playoffs can be schemed off the floor. That’s not where you want to spend your money. Again, Kevin Arnovitz on ESPN has the best look at what centers are today. Today’s NBA centers are a mercenary position. You do not have to spend $30 million on a center. The Celtics last year spent $5 million on Daniel Theis and they had the fifth-best offense with the fifth-best defense. They were top five on offense and defense with Daniel Theis as their starting center.
Is Rudy Gobert the answer to Bam Adebayo? Is he going out there on the fake handoffs that Adebayo loves to do up at the elbow and the high post? Is Rudy Gobert going to stop that play? I don’t think so. He’s not.
If you add Rudy Gobert to the Boston Celtics, what happens last season? Sub him out for Daniel Theis, I feel like they kind of go the exact same distance because I would rather have Bam Adebayo than Rudy Gobert. Rudy Gobert does a lot of great things. Rudy Gobert’s numbers look great in the regular season, and then in the playoffs you can scheme him away.