A year after finishing with the best record in the NBA, the Utah Jazz had a disappointing season, only getting the fifth seed in the Western Conference and losing in the first round of the playoffs to the Dallas Mavericks.
As a result, it is rumored that they are looking to move on from center Rudy Gobert.
The hot rumor currently circulating is that Gobert will be on his way to the Windy City to play for the Chicago Bulls.
— All Around Designs (@DesignAllAround) June 20, 2022
The Bulls had the best record in the Eastern Conference through the All-Star break, and many in Illinois were thinking that the team had a legitimate shot at contending for the NBA championship.
But instead, the team went into a prolonged cold snap and ended up losing to the Milwaukee Bucks in five games in the first round of the playoffs.
Would Gobert be the final piece for Chicago, or would he be a flawed addition?
Gobert Would Make The Bulls Into A Defensive Powerhouse
When the Bulls were playing well during the first half of the season, it was their defense that took them to first place in the conference.
Chicago regularly locked down its opponents, and it had the athleticism to consistently turn missed shots and miscues into fast-break opportunities.
But down the stretch of the regular season, its defense looked rather porous.
Nikola Vucevic, the Bulls’ current starting center, is a good player, but he is not a rim protector, and some regard him as a bad defender overall.
Gobert, on the other hand, is such a feared rim protector that he is been nicknamed “The French Rejection” and “The Stifle Tower.”
He averaged 2.1 blocked shots per game this season, to go along with a league-leading 14.7 rebounds per game, and he is seemingly always a candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year award, which he has won three times.
For those who love advanced stats, Gobert has led the NBA in defensive win shares twice.
With him manning the paint, players such as Lonzo Ball, Zach LaVine (if he remains with the Bulls), and DeMar DeRozan can take more risks defensively, gambling for steals and getting into the passing lines knowing they have a big eraser in the middle.
A man like Gobert could seriously stabilize the Bulls defense on a regular basis.
The One Problem
Although Gobert isn’t a man who can consistently get his own shot, he did average 15.6 points a game on a ridiculous 71.3 percent accuracy this season.
However, the big drawback is that he cannot hit (and won’t take) shots outside the paint.
He takes virtually all of his shots from 10 feet or closer, and come playoff time, it presents a problem for his team, as the lane is clogged, which makes it harder for his smaller teammates to slash to the hoop and get easy baskets.
Supposedly, it is one reason why the Jazz may want to trade him.
Then there is Gobert’s contract, which will pay him over $38 million a year for the next four seasons.
It is hard to imagine a player with his weaknesses truly being worth that much money in today’s NBA.
According to Chicago Bulls insider, @TheRealC_Los, the Bulls have two concerns regarding a Rudy Gobert trade to Chicago:
1) Chicago has concerns about how Rudy Gobert’s contract can “handcuff” the team's flexibility to make other moves to build the team.
— ChicagoBullsCentral™ (@BullsCentraI) June 22, 2022
If the Bulls get Gobert, head coach Billy Donovan will have to change his offensive scheme to hide Gobert’s offensive deficiencies, and it may not be easy to do successfully.