Utah Jazz: Tape of Rudy Gobert draining 3s likely much ado about nothing

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 02: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz shoots during warm ups prior to a NBA game against the Houston Rockets at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 2, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
SALT LAKE CITY, UT - FEBRUARY 02: Rudy Gobert #27 of the Utah Jazz shoots during warm ups prior to a NBA game against the Houston Rockets at Vivint Smart Home Arena on February 2, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images) /

Utah Jazz big man Rudy Gobert was snapped hitting long-range jumpers in France, but don’t expect a big change in his game next season.

While Donovan Mitchell has provided the sizzle for the Utah Jazz over the last two seasons, the steak is, was and will continue to be Rudy Gobert. Everything the Jazz have done recently, both in terms of roster construction as well as what happens on the court, has been done to maximize and capitalize on what Gobert does well.

Not just defensively either; despite the fact that his shooting range has been limited to within three or so feet of the hoop, you could also make the case that the reigning DPOY has been the team’s most important offensive player, too.

Still, even though his offensive skillset is unique in today’s NBA, it’s hard not to wonder how things would be if Gobert could change his game and extend that range. If the Stifle Tower could also rain triples, Kristaps Porzingis would have to step aside because Gobert would be the real unicorn.

For those among the Jazzland masses who have found themselves salivating over such daydreams in the past, a tasty morsel just hit the interwebs.

Gobert’s teammate on the French national squad and Charlotte Hornets forward Nicolas Batum took to Twitter on Tuesday with video of Gobert working out in an open gym. And instead of throwing down lobs or rejecting some, poor 10-year-old’s jumper — as he’s wont to do — he was, in fact, making it rain.

Check it out —


So, like… look out NBA, amirite?!

Maybe not.

Sorry to be the wet blanket here, but Gobert knocking down 3-pointers in a shootaround situation with nobody guarding him is nothing new. Really, if you took a straw poll of players around the Association you’d find there are big men in every corner of the professional hoops world who can accomplish similar feats.

I personally witnessed Greg Ostertag connecting at about a 70-percent clip before a Jazz home game back in the day. For the record, he hit exactly one 3-point shot over a decade-long career in the league.

There’s also this: even if Gobert could parlay these efforts into actual, on-court efficacy during real games in the NBA, it’s incredibly unlikely we’d see it manifested on a scale as grand as in our daydreams.

The main reason for that is simple, and I put it on Front Street: the Jazz have built their roster and Quin Snyder has designed his schemes around Gobert’s existing skillset. He’s an elite finisher and an even better roll-man; any possession he would use to step out to the perimeter would be a possession he’s not doing what he does best.

There’s been a lot of excitement about the acquisitions the Jazz made this offseason, particularly with star point-man Mike Conley and sharpshooter Bojan Bogdanovic. But a lot of their success is going to come as a direct result of Gobert’s ability to set monster screens, then roll hard to the hoop and his vertical gravity at the rim.

It will give them, Mitchell, Joe Ingles and everyone else on the squad space to operate and maximize their own production on a nightly basis.

I will say this: back in the ’80s and early ’90s, myself and a litany of other NBA fans would delight whenever 7-foot-7 Manute Bol would catch the ball above the break as a trailer and drop a triple through the net. He did it a bunch — in a 1993 game against the Phoenix Suns, he even hit six of them in a single half —

Without question, that was a special night and Bol was a special player in his own, unique way. And if Gobert became someone who could occasionally catch the ball as the last man down the floor and nail a wide-open three or two, it would be just as fun as when Bol did it.

That said, Bol was a 21-percent 3-point shooter over the course of his career. And while Gobert’s form in the Batum video looks a little more natural than Bol’s did, his shot still looks like one that he’d struggle to get off consistently against NBA defenses, especially in a day and age when big men are so mobile and switching everything has become the norm.

Next. Utah Jazz signing Juwan Morgan to Exhibit 10 deal. dark

Now, if Gobert were somehow able to disprove my thought process, more power to him. I, for one, would gladly eat my words and thrill as he became one of the most versatile big men we’ve ever seen in the game. And it goes without saying that Snyder would find a way to use his long-range bombs to the betterment of the offense.

I just wouldn’t hold my breath on it happening, if I were you.