As initially reported by Jody Genessy of the Deseret News, Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert is returning to the court after more than a month missed due to injury. In Gobert’s first game back, Genessy reports that he will be appearing tonight in limited minutes, and backing up starter Jeff Withey. Genessy also notes that the Jazz have gone on a relatively large skid, 7-11, during Gobert’s absence.
After a sluggish rookie season in 2013-14, Gobert suddenly exploded to defensive superstardom in 2014-15, under the tutelage of first-time NBA head coach Quin Snyder. Since Gobert’s debut in the NBA, he is tied with Milwaukee’s John Henson for the second-most blocks per minute among regular players, trailing only Miami’s Hassan Whiteside.
Over the last three seasons, Gobert has played 3,074 minutes for the Jazz: during those minutes, Utah opponents score 1.02 points per possession. During the 6,475 total minutes during those seasons when Gobert has been resting or inactive, Utah opponents score 1.1 points per possession.
Utah acquired Gobert in a 2013 draft-night trade with the Denver Nuggets, sending a second-round pick and cash to Denver in exchange for Gobert.