FIBA rivals Rubio and Gobert, future of Utah Jazz

Rubio and GobertThe FIBA Eurobasket 2017 is set to tip off in less than a month from now and many of Europe’s top teams have been ramping up their preparations for the tournament.

Meanwhile, in the NBA, the Utah Jazz have found themselves in a unique situation. Starting this 2017-18 the franchise will be building around a new core tandem of European players. The team saw the departure of both Gordon Hayward and George Hill in free agency. They did however land Spanish guard, Ricky Rubio, who is coming off a productive 2016-17 campaign with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Rubio shined after the post-All-Star break, a sign of his growing confidence. He has also been a member of the Spanish National Team since 2008.

Rubio will be paired with the Jazz’ elite big man Rudy Gobert this season. Gobert is 216 cm French center who has been playing for the French National Team since 2014. Gobert is one of the best defenders in the NBA, if not the whole world. He is a talented rebounder and excellent shot blocker.

Both players have crossed paths in international competition in the past, mainly in FIBA competitions. France and Spain have had their fair share of tough and tightly contested games, but these two stars will now have to work hand in hand and be the core with which the Utah Jazz franchise will chart its course for the future. While it does sting to see a talent such as Hayward jump ship to join the Boston Celtics, the Jazz have an intriguing duo in Rubio and Gobert. A pass-first point guard who has almost unparalleled court vision and an athletic center who is capable of shutting down action in the paint with his mere presence.

We’ve seen what Dirk Nowitzki has done for the Dallas Mavericks and how the New York Knicks are pinning their hopes for the future on Kristaps Porzingis. Will Rubio and Gobert be able to find the chemistry that will carry the Jazz for years to come?

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