Utah Jazz: Ranking Rudy Gobert among NBA’s top centers

Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Chris Nicoll-USA TODAY Sports) /
1 of 6

In today’s NBA, the center position shares a similarity with Gene Wilder: people can’t stop seem to stop announcing that it’s dead. Unlike the late, great thespian, however, the NBA’s big man never actually died. The Utah Jazz boast one of the Association’s finest in Rudy Gobert, but how does he stack up among the NBA’s elite big men?

For this exercise, we removed a great deal of subjectivity by basing our rankings on three metrics from last season: Player Efficiency Rating (PER), Box Plus/Minus (BPM) and Value over Replacement Player (VORP). We simply took each big man’s ranking by each of these measures and ranked them according to their average placement.

Having established the criteria, there are two important caveats to note. Firstly, Karl-Anthony Towns has had a tremendously challenging COVID-19 pandemic. Between personal tragedy and injury concerns, it shouldn’t come as a shock that the former number one overall pick had a down season by his own immense standard.

Secondly, positional designations are considerably more fluid in 2021 than they’ve ever been. As such, two players who may have merited consideration in these rankings who we ultimately treated as power forwards are Domantas Sabonis and Julius Randle. Both men saw time at the 5 position last season, but neither saw enough to ultimately merit designation as centers.

Here’s where Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert ranked among the NBA’s best, according to PER, BPM and VORP.