Gobert's elite defense paying dividends for Jazz

Rudy Gobert's defensive play for Utah is a big part of the team's early success and has him on pace for another DPOY award.

Video Transcript

JARED JOHNSON: Twenty seven. That's how far Rudy Gobert fell in the 2013 NBA draft. And it's why he chose that jersey number-- as a constant reminder of how he was viewed when coming into the league.

This was the same draft class that featured Anthony Bennett, whose NBA career ended in 2013, going number one overall, and guys like Shane Larkin, Lucas Nogueira, and Shabazz Muhammad all being selected well ahead of the French rejection. So it's no wonder why he still holds a bit of a grudge.

Now, to be fair, the 21-year-old Frenchman was quite raw when he first entered the league. But the two-time All-Star and Defensive Player of the Year has established himself as the defensive stalwart and leading post presence behind the number one seeded Utah Jazz. He's sending away a career high 2.7 shots per game, which ranks number two in the league, and he's doing that while committing just 2.3 fouls per contest, which puts him well ahead of the pack in terms of defensive impact.

The 28-year-old center is in his NBA prime, and he's putting together yet another first-run caliber season, if you ignore the free throw shooting. And he looks to be on track to take home his third Defensive Player of the Year Award, which would put him in the same company as Dikembe Mutombo, Ben Wallace, and Dwight Howard as the only other players, since the award was introduced in 1982, to win that trophy on three separate occasions.