The Utah Jazz had their first 2014 Summer League practice today. It was fun to see parts of the team together doing actual basketball things. With Vegas only a few days away it's important to recognize that even though these games don't count, the performance of the players may. One of the biggest question marks for the Jazz this season will be with seldom used 2013 NBA Draft 1st rounder Rudy Gobert . Last season Dennis Lindsey liked this guy so much he traded back up into the first round to get him. I know why, dude is beast-mode waiting to happen. My love affair with Gobert started on day 1 of the 2013 NBA Draft Combine in Chicago. He went so hard in the drills, playing with an ingrown toe nail that was so bad he needed corrective surgery on it, that it was hard to not be astounded by him. And when the antropometric measurements were finally done, he solidified his status as the next big thing.
Years ago the Utah Jazz had the nearly biggest thing ever in Mark Eaton. Big Mark Eaton, for all of his faults and non-athletic ability, still managed to nearly block 500 shots one season, and besides being an All-Star was the Defensive player of the year twice. These are great personal awards, but he transformed the Jazz from a team that was easily scored on to a team that no one wanted to go in the paint on.
And well, the question is "Can Rudy Gobert be like Mark Eaton?"
The size is there, but more than that, Gobert has a fluidity to his game. (Like we saw in his turn around jumper in the Orlando Summer league last year) Furthermore, Gobert has superior length and jumping ability. One thing he does not have is a massive mountain man beard. But that will come with time, I hope.
Here's a video of Eaton back in 1985.
Don't tell me Rudy can't do all of this, and more.
[EDIT 7/9/2014 @ 8:32 am MT : Comparison vid of Gobert -- check comments section for details!]
I believe in Rudy Gobert, and hopefully he will be given a shot to show what he can do on the court this season. And his performance this season starts this weekend in Las Vegas.