After hearing that Rudy Gobert signed a five-year, $205 million contract extension with Utah Jazz, most people were shocked. The principal opinion was that Gobert was getting overpaid for a big man with not so impressive offensive skills.
Gobert’s contract is the third-biggest deal in NBA history, behind Antetokounmpo‘s five-year, $206.8 million deal and Russell Westbrook‘s contract signed with the Oklahoma City Thunder in 2017. The Frenchman is also the highest-paid center in history.
It was slightly different from Utah’s standpoint: they were signing a two-time Defensive Player of the Year and a three-time All-NBA selection player. Despite that, maybe the Jazz is overpaying Gobert, but they are not getting a bad deal. For instance, Dion Waiters is getting $12,650,000 from Memphis this season, Nicolas Batum makes $9,043,478 from Charlotte while playing for LA Clippers and Luol Deng receives $5,000,000 from LA Lakers this season. Bad is a relative term. Another perspective about Rudy’s contract came from David Locke (Utah’s NBA insider), who tweeted about Gobert’s extension.
The biggest myth in the NBA is that you can just rebuild. Nearly 30% of the league has been really bad for an extended period of time and have had top draft picks and still stuck in mediocrity. When you have top level winning talent you have to pay them and keep them.— David Locke (@Lockedonsports) December 20, 2020
Locke has a point; think about all the NBA construction sites in recent years and how much time they’ve spent or are still spending to get back on winning habits.
For a small market that is on a winning stride, you can’t calculate much. Okay, Rudy’s is overpaid, but the Jazz front office was adamant this offseason. Donovan Mitchell (five-year extension with Jazz that could reach $195 million) will be in Salt Lake City for some time, and so will Bojan Bogdanović (a four year $73 million contract).
The Jazz didn’t want to gamble on this, so they signed all the key pieces for another title shot. They are not the favorites, but they will surely be contenders in the next few years. At last, is it that bad to be a consistent playoff team in the West?