Utah Jazz: Is Rudy Gobert the best center in franchise history?

Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert (Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports)
Utah Jazz, Rudy Gobert (Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Utah Jazz
Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert (Daniel Dunn-USA TODAY Sports) /

When it comes to centers, it seems like the Utah Jazz have a type: non-shooting, non-switching, stationary bigs who protect the rim as well (or better) than any player in the NBA. For all the limitations of such players, they do offer a tried-and-tested service that head coaches can build elite NBA defenses around.

Current Jazz big man Rudy Gobert fits the description to a tee. Unlike the other bigs we’ll list in this article, Gobert plays in an NBA that is rapidly moving away from players of his archetype. Spacing and switchability have emerged as some of the most desirable qualities for big men in today’s NBA, and Gobert offers neither.

Utah Jazz fans are not known to lament Gobert’s lack of ability in either area, and for good reason. The Stifle Tower is a 3x Defensive Player of the Year, and he deservingly so. Rim protection is still an essential quality for an NBA team to possess, and nobody in the league at this moment protects the rim like Rudy Gobert.

Gobert’s status among the current crop of NBA centers is well-established, but where does he rank among big men in Utah Jazz lore? Let’s take a look at the 5 greatest centers in Jazz history to see where Gobert places among the competition.