I was curious about just how good Gobert is - and can be - on defense. So I did some light research on it. Here's what I found out.
In 2013-14, Rudy Gobert had the most blocks per 36 in the entire NBA. He blocked shots more frequently than Serge Ibaka, Roy Hibbert, Anthony Davis, DeAndre Jordan, Dwight Howard, etc. NO NBA PLAYER last season blocked shots at a higher rate. That is nuts.
Gobert wasn't just amazing at blocking shots, either. He was spectacular at disrupting shots, which is just as (if not more) important. Gobert allowed the 3rd-lowest opponent FG% at the rim last season (42.2%), second only to Bismack Biyombo (38.8%) and Roy Hibbert (41.4%). Better at protecting the rim than defensive juggernauts like Joakim Noah and Robin Lopez. And he was just a rookie!
So, how good could Gobert become? Well, he has one of the longest wingspans ever recorded at the combine (7'9"), to go along with the silliest standing reach I've ever heard - 9'7", which is high enough that he could probably dunk a basketball without jumping, simply by standing on his toes.
Unfortunately, our coach last season (what was his name, again?) thought Gobert didn't belong in the NBA, and he was sent down to the D-league quite a few times. What he did in the D-league was nothing short of dominant. He proved over and over that he didn't belong in the D-league, racking up 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 3 blocks in just 27 minutes per game, while shooting 74% from the field.
With his length, wingspan, and defensive instincts (plus his added muscle this offseason, which appears to be easily 10-15 pounds), I see no reason why Gobert won't become at the very least a defensive anchor who protects the rim and gobbles up rebounds on both ends of the floor.
And because I'm a masochist, or an optimist, or whatever, I looked up the players who put up at least 14/11/3 over the course of an NBA season (which I have no doubt Gobert will one day do). I don't know if I should be more excited or afraid about the names that came up. Kareem. Shaq. David Robinson. Hakeem. Patrick Ewing. Bob McAdoo. Bob Lanier.
The sky is the limit for this kid.