Wizards

Utah's Rudy Gobert gets biggest deal for a center in NBA history

Wizards

Following Giannis Antetokounmpo signing the biggest contract in NBA history, all eyes shifted to what Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert. As the only player left who fulfilled the supermax criteria, Gobert was due for a substantial raise but questions whether or not Utah wanted to commit that much capital to the French shot-blocker persisted. 

On Sunday, however, those questions were put to rest. 

Gobert will reportedly sign the largest contract for a center in league history, set to put ink to paper on a five-year, $205 million deal to keep him with as a centerpiece for the Jazz for years to come. ESPN's Tim MacMahon was the first to report the news

"It means that they believe in me," Gobert told ESPN. "They believe in what we've been building over the years with this whole organization, with coach [Quin Snyder] and all the guys. For me, it's an incredible blessing. It's a very motivating feeling to know that we all share the same vision and we all share this goal for this state and for this franchise."

Gobert was due the same supermax amount Antetokounmpo received at $228 million due to him being a two-time Defensive Player of the Year winner and three-time All-NBA honoree. Gobert told MacMahon he didn't want the full supermax so the team has more flexbility to add pieces around himself and co-star Donovan Mitchell. 

Having averaged 15.1 points per game, 13.5 rebounds per game and 2.0 blocks per game, Gobert has made the All-NBA teams three of the last four seasons. The "Stifle Tower" is one of the most elite interior defenders of his generation, and now he'll be paid like it.

 

The Jazz lost in seven games to the Nuggets in an enthralling first-round series of the Western Conference playoffs in the Orlando bubble. But now with Mitchell already tied down with a rookie supermax deal totaling five years and $163 million (which could rise to $193 if Mitchell makes All-NBA), reports of Utah's two cornerstones not being able to coexist due to their off-court relationship -- or lack thereof -- also seem to have been quashed. 

Gobert's contract is now the third-largest in NBA history, only behind Antetokounmpo's and Washington's new point guard Russell Westbrook, who signed his five-year, $206.8 million deal with the Thunder in 2017.