Rudy Gobert gets $205 million contract extension with Jazz

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The Jazz locked down All-NBA big man Rudy Gobert to a five-year, $205 million contract, the largest deal for a center in league history, ESPN reported Sunday morning.

Gobert’s deal, which includes a player option for the fifth season, is also the third-largest ever behind only Giannis Antetokounmpo and Russell Westbrook.

The 28-year-old All-Star was eligible for a supermax extension of $228 million but he said he left money on the table to ensure the Jazz could have the flexibility to continue building around him and co-star Donovan Mitchell.

“For me, my goal is to always win a championship,” Gobert told ESPN. “When we spoke with my agent before the negotiations started, I decided that I didn’t want to ask for the supermax. We didn’t want to start the negotiations by asking for the supermax. For me, it was important to show to the organization and show to the team that it wasn’t about money. It was about continuing to build what we’ve been building and also give this team and give myself the stability and the peace of mind to not have to deal with the negotiations later.

“I want to win, and I feel like leaving this money on the table for the team just to be able to have better talent around me and Donovan was really important. I want to win, and I believe in this group and I believe in this organization, and I was willing to leave that money on the table for them.”

Utah also signed Mitchell to a long-term extension this offseason, locking down the 24-year-old to the five-year maximum extension of his rookie contract worth a guaranteed $163 million. Mitchell’s deal also includes a 30 percent escalator clause that would increase the overall value of the deal to $195 million if he is selected to an All-NBA team this upcoming season.

Rudy Gobert $205 million contract Jazz Donovan Mitchell
Jazz stars Donovan Mitchell (l.) and Rudy Gobert.
AP

The Jazz have now secured its two biggest stars through at least the 2024-25 season, but the organization’s success will likely be contingent on their ability to get along.

Gobert and Mitchell went through a public rift in March after the former became the first known NBA player to test positive for COVID-19, causing the NBA’s season to go on pause. It was widely reported that Gobert was extremely careless in the locker room, which likely led to Mitchell’s positive test the following day.

Mitchell was reported to be extremely frustrated with Gobert, which led to the two not speaking for a month. However, Mitchell later told reporters that he and Gobert had moved on and were ready to focus on basketball.

But ESPN reported in July that the tensions between the two stars originated long before the pandemic.

Gobert reportedly grew frustrated with Mitchell not passing the ball enough, according to the report. Gobert admitted in July that he can be “annoying,” but he feels he and Mitchell can succeed together.

“After all the things that happened within our team and all that, I really wanted to go back in the bubble and see how things are going,” Gobert told ESPN. “After the bubble, I really felt like I could win a championship with Donovan. I think we’ve both grown a lot, and we’re going to keep growing. I’m really excited that we’re going to be able to continue this journey together.”

Gobert has been an All-NBA selection in three of the past four seasons, while earning the Defensive Player of the Year award in 2017-18 and 2018-19. He has played a major part in taking the 25-win Jazz team he joined his rookie season in 2013-14 to a recent streak of four consecutive playoff berths.



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