Rudy Gobert (Center)
Max Vertical Jump: 29 inches
NBA Comparison: JaVale McGee. Both Gobert and McGee are the classic, big, physically gift, and talented big guys who hasn’t exactly learned how to play the game of basketball just yet. Unlike McGee, Gobert isn’t nearly as athletic however Gobert is 7’2 in shoes and has a ridiculous near 7’9 wingspan along with a reach of 9’7; five bucks the guy can dunk while tippy-toeing.
- Tremendous physical talent. You can’t teach anyone in the world Gobert’s reach and wingspan.
- Very mobile for a guy his size.
- Excellent rebounder.
- Capable of anchoring a defense.
- High upside.
- Decent free-throw shooter for big man.
- Outside of lobs, dunks and offensive putbacks, he doesn’t provide much more offensively.
- Needs to add strength.
- Can be somewhat one dimensional.
- Questions about his maturity.
How he fits with the Suns:
Gobert is easily one of the most intriguing prospects in this year’s draft. His physical attributes are other worldly but the question remains “Can he truly learn how to play the game of NBA basketball?” Looking at Gobert’s numbers from this past season overseas, 71.8% shooting from the field…That’s an impressive number but I doubt that will directly translate to the NBA.
If the Suns do end up taking Gobert with their 30th overall pick (assuming he’s still there), he’ll be a project. Can he come in right away and provide energy, defense, and an impressive lob play from game to game? Sure, but if one were to expect him to come in from day one and look like the second coming of Dikembe Mutumbo that person will face disappointment.
From the outside looking in, it seems like Gobert’s ceiling revolves around someone like Roy Hibbert. Gobert has the physical tools and talent to become a dominant defensive player in the NBA, but his offensive game needs a lot of refining. His mid-range game is all but fictional, and he doesn’t have much (if any) post moves.
The Suns are likely looking to trade Marcin Gortat at this point, personally I don’t expect him to be on the roster by all-star break. It’s not a terrible idea for the Suns to grab someone like Gobert with their final pick in the first round. Gobert worked out for the Suns earlier this month, and Suns GM Ryan McDonough didn’t have much positive to say about Gobert except for his exception length. “He’s as long as they come,” GM Ryan McDonough said in regards to Gobert’s 7-foot-2 and 238-pound frame.
I’ll say this, one thing many reports on Gobert are overlooking is foul trouble. Gobert averaged 2.1 fouls during his 27 games overseas last season where he averaged 22.7 minutes per game. That’s a pretty high foul rate considering he’s playing overseas. What will his foul numbers look like when he’s guarding against bigger, stronger, and more talented big men in NBA? Not to mention all of the aggressive attacking guards like Russell Westbrook, James Harden and Derrick Rose. If Gobert can develop a decent mid-range game, and manage his fouls, he could very well be a high quality starting center in the NBA, but that’s a titanic IF.