1) Mark Eaton
If you ask me (and even if you didn’t), Mark Eaton is one of the most underrated talents in the history of the game. Had Eaton enjoyed the same kind of playing career with the LA Lakers or Boston Celtics, he’d be a first-ballot Hall of Famer.
A career in Utah notwithstanding, the big man remains one of the most intimidating defenders ever to play in the league. He probably deserves a statue next to John and Karl for making the team relevant in the early ’80s and helping it transform into a contender for years to come.
Eaton’s career mark of 3.5 blocks per game ranks No. 1 on the NBA’s all-time list. For his efforts, he was twice named the Association’s Defensive Player of the Year, earned All-Defensive Team honors on five occasions and was selected to represent the Jazz and the Western Conference in the 1989 All-Star Game.
Not too shabby for someone who was discovered under the hood of a car as a 21-year-old, went on to play JUCO ball and was little more than a bench-warmer at UCLA before getting picked in the fourth round of the ’82 draft.
That story alone is probably worthy of mention on this list. The fact that he changed a franchise (much like Gobert) is almost icing on the cake.
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Utah Jazz Stats: 875 GP, 6.0 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.5 blocks and one reluctant assist.