Utah Jazz history: Top 5 players whose numbers aren’t retired

Andrei Kirilenko, Utah Jazz. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Andrei Kirilenko, Utah Jazz. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images) /
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Utah Jazz
Rudy Gobert, Utah Jazz. (Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images) /

3. Rudy Gobert

In the 2013 NBA Draft, the Denver Nuggets selected Rudy Gobert 27th overall and subsequently traded the Frenchman to the Utah Jazz.

Thanks, guys.

His special defensive abilities were visible very early on. In only his second year, he blocked at least two shots in 56 games, and since that year, Gobert has averaged more than two blocks a game every season. That’s six straight seasons. Only Gobert and Anthony Davis have such current streaks.

On offense, his seven-foot-one frame and seven-foot-nine wingspan make scoring at the rim rather easy. He has a career field goal percentage of 63.9 percent (which is second among active players) and led the league in field goal percent in the 2018-2019 season, making 66.9 of his shots. That same year, he set the NBA record for most dunks in a season, with 306. That’s 3.7 dunks a game, or a dunk every 8.4 minutes he played.

Judging from his natural abilities on defense and effectiveness on offense, it’s no surprise that In his seven years as a Jazzman, Gobert has racked up a number of league accolades. He’s been named an All-Star (2020), earned Third (2017) and Second (2019) All-NBA Team selections, received three straight All-Defensive First Team nods (2017-2019), and won consecutive Defensive Player of the Year awards (2018, 2019).

Along with his awards, Gobert is already rewriting the franchise’s record collection. He ranks third in offensive, defensive, and total rebounds; fifth in blocks; and fifth in win shares (62.9).

Rudy Gobert is only 27 and in his prime. There’s no telling how his already record-laden legacy will ultimately end. All I can say to Jazz fans is when you see Gobert play, please know you’re watching one the best Jazz players of all-time.