Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is the most likely candidate from the 2013 draft class to receive the next contract extension with his team before the end-of-month deadline, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein.
With the deadline for extensions coming on Oct. 31, only two players from that first round have signed extensions thus far. Portland and C.J. McCollum reached a four-year, $106 million extension and Milwaukee extended Giannis Antetokounmpo for four years at $100 million.
Stein writes that the Jazz’s defensive force is the most likely of the remaining eligible players to reach a long-term deal: “Most league insiders agree that Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert remains the most likely candidate, of the 2013 first-rounders still on the board, to land an extension by month’s end.”
Drafted with the 27th pick of the 2013 first round, Gobert ranks as one of the biggest draft steals in recent memory. Last season, he averaged 9.1 points, 11 rebounds and 2.2 blocks per game as a 23-year old.
The Jazz may be interested in extending Gobert because of the ramifications an extension may have on Gordon Hayward’s looming free agency this offseason. If the team locks up interior forces like Gobert and Derrick Favors and see development from guard Dante Exum, the thinking goes, Hayward is likely to see the Jazz as an organization with which he can remain for the long haul.
In the piece, Stein also mentions other candidates for extension like Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder, Oklahoma City’s duo of Steven Adams and Victor Oladipo, Detroit’s Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and Minnesota’s duo of Gorgui Dieng and Shabazz Muhammad. None of those players seem as likely as Gobert to get a new deal done, but there are usually a few surprises when it comes to these extensions.