SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 Sports) – The accolades keep pouring in for Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert, and this latest one should make Gobert a very rich man.
Having already been named a finalist for Defensive Player of the Year and earning first team All-Defensive team honors, Gobert was named to the 2018-19 All-NBA third team. It is the second time the center has garnered All-NBA accolades, after being selected to the All-NBA Second Team following the 2016-17 season.
Because Gboert is the reigning Defensive Player of the Year and earned All-NBA honors, he is now eligible for a “super max” 5-year contract extension worth 247.3 million dollars.
Gobert finished his sixth NBA season averaging career-highs in points per game (15.9), rebounds (12.9) and assists per contest (2.0), also averaging 2.3 blocks per game (third best in NBA). He led the league in field goal percentage (.669) and was the first player since Artis Gilmore in 1981-82 to average over 15 points on 65 percent-or-better from the field, 10-or-more rebounds and at least two blocks. The last two times that was done in a single season since 1946-47 were by Gilmore in 1980-81 and 1981-82.
The first player to total over 1,200 points, 1,000 rebounds, while also shooting over 65 percent in a single season since Wilt Chamberlain in 1966-67, the big man finished the year with a league-record 306 slam dunks. He tallied 66 double-doubles (second most in NBA), which was a franchise record for most point-rebound double-doubles in a single season (previously, Karl Malone with 62 in 1987-88).
The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year posted the best defensive box plus-minus (5.0) in the NBA, ranked second in defensive win shares (5.7) and ranked fourth overall in defensive rating (100.4) among all qualified players in 2018-19. He contested the second most shots per contest (16.0), also swatting away the second most shots in the league (187). Over the last three seasons, no NBA player has more blocks than Gobert (530).
For the third-straight year, he was the anchor of a top-three NBA defense helping the Jazz hold a defensive rating of 105.2, which was the second best defensive rating in the NBA in 2018-19. The 26-year-old led Utah in rebounding average and the team had the best defensive rebound percentage (.759) of any team in the NBA last season.
Gobert is now the fifth Jazz player to earn multiple All-NBA honors with the team, joining Adrian Dantley, Karl Malone, John Stockton and Deron Williams. He currently ranks third in all-time career Jazz rebounds (4,275), fourth in defensive rebounds (2,963) and fifth in blocks (895).
The native of France was also selected to the 2018-19 All-NBA Defensive First Team for the third-straight season on May 22 and was announced as a top-three finalist for the NBA’s 2019 Defensive Player of the Year Award earlier in the month. Other finalists for Defensive Player of the Year include Oklahoma City’s Paul George and Milwaukee’s Giannis Antetokounmpo. The winners will be announced at the 2019 NBA Awards on June 24 on TNT at 7 p.m. (MT).