Rudy Gobert Nearly Fell to the Spurs

By George Middleton

In 2012-13, the San Antonio Spurs had a successful season going 58-24 and losing in the 2013 NBA Finals to the Miami Heat. As a result, the Spurs held the 28th pick in the 2013 NBA Draft.

In most drafts it’s extremely difficult to find someone that will someday become a terrific player. The reason I say this, is because there are usually only a handful of impact players that go outside of the top 20 in the draft each year.

The 2013 NBA Draft lacked the star power that most recent drafts had. An example of this is Anthony Bennett going first in the draft. Otto Porter (3rd), Cody Zeller (4th), Alex Len (5th), and Ben McLemore (7th) haven’t come close to living up to their potential as top 10 picks.

Each year most NBA fans are interested in seeing who the Spurs will draft despite usually going late in the draft. In past years the Spurs have taken Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Tiago Splitter, and George Hill late. They also took players like Goran Dragic, Leandro Barbosa, Luis Scola, and John Salmons late in their respective drafts, despite never playing with the Spurs.

The Spurs took Livio Jean-Charles, a small forward from France with their 28th pick in 2013.

Apr 4, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Utah Jazz center

Rudy Gobert

(27) looks on against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center. The Suns won 87-85. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

The 27th pick? Rudy Gobert. Yes that center in Utah that blew up last season. Gobert averaged 8.4 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.3 blocks last year. In 29 games after the All-Star break he averaged 11.1 points, 13.4 rebounds, and 2.6 blocks.

There is a strong chance that Gobert will be a top candidate for the Defensive Player of the Year this season. Gobert was the main reason the Jazz won 21 of their final 32 games. The Jazz led the NBA in points allowed (94.9) as well. Ever since the Jazz traded Enes Kanter, they unleashed Gobert.

There is also a great chance that Gobert becomes an All-Star for many years to come. He is only 23-years old and is still a raw offensive player.

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Oddly enough Gobert is from France just like Jean-Charles which means that the Spurs were probably eyeing Gobert.

Instead of landing an elite defender and a potential star in Gobert, the Spurs were stuck with Jean-Charles, who hasn’t played in an NBA game.

The Spurs can’t win them all.

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