The Utah Jazz and big man Rudy Gobert are extending their longtime partnership. According to ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, Gobert and the Jazz have agreed to a five-year, $205 million contract extension, the largest deal for a center in NBA history.
The team has not announced any specifics of the contract, but the team Twitter account tweeted “The kid from Sanit-Quentin is staying in SLC,” along with a video about Gobert. Gobert tweeted a letter announcing his decision to stay.
Gobert, 28, was drafted 27th overall in 2013 by the Denver Nuggets, but was traded to the Jazz on draft night and has spent his entire career with them. He spoke to MacMahon after signing the extension (which has not been announced by the team) and expressed joy at inking this deal with the only team he’s ever played for.
"It means that they believe in me," Gobert told ESPN. "They believe in what we've been building over the years with this whole organization, with coach [Quin Snyder] and all the guys. For me, it's an incredible blessing. It's a very motivating feeling to know that we all share the same vision and we all share this goal for this state and for this franchise."
Gobert also called Utah “home,” and just like Giannis Antetokounmpo, resisted the idea that he should want to go to a big market team.
"I see myself as a loyal person. I've had so many people tell me, 'Why don't you go to a bigger market?' I always tell people that winning a championship in Utah and creating our legacy in Utah would mean so much more.
Gobert left money on the table
Gobert, a 7-foot-1 native of France, was eligible for the very same deal that Antetokounmpo recently signed with the Milwaukee Bucks — a five-year, $228 million supermax deal — but told MacMahon that he didn’t ask the team for that deal. He wanted to give the Jazz more flexibility to add more talent to the team.
"When we spoke with my agent before the negotiations started, I decided that I didn't want to ask for the supermax,” Gobert told ESPN. “We didn't want to start the negotiations by asking for the supermax. For me, it was important to show to the organization and show to the team that it wasn't about money. It was about continuing to build what we've been building and also give this team and give myself the stability and the peace of mind to not have to deal with the negotiations later.
"I want to win, and I feel like leaving this money on the table for the team just to be able to have better talent around me and Donovan [Mitchell] was really important. I want to win, and I believe in this group and I believe in this organization, and I was willing to leave that money on the table for them."
Gobert has grown with Mitchell
Gobert became internationally famous (or infamous) in March when, after publicly failing to take COVID-19 seriously, his COVID-19 symptoms triggered the NBA’s hiatus. This caused a major rift between him and teammate Donovan Mitchell, who was reportedly upset at Gobert’s careless behavior.
In the bubble, it appeared that the two had repaired their relationship, or were at least able to keep things professional on the court. They worked together well in Orlando, and Gobert told MacMahon that he’s excited to keep working with Mitchell to win a championship.
"After all the things that happened within our team and all that, I really wanted to go back in the bubble and see how things are going," Gobert said. "After the bubble, I really felt like I could win a championship with Donovan. I think we've both grown a lot, and we're going to keep growing. I'm really excited that we're going to be able to continue this journey together."
More from Yahoo Sports: