Three-time All-NBA centre Rudy Gobert has agreed to a five-year, $US205 million ($A269 million) extension with the Utah Jazz.
Gobert, 28, was eligible to earn up to the same $US228 million ($A299 million) deal that Giannis Antetokounmpo received from the Milwaukee Bucks, but said he took less to give the Jazz flexibility to build the roster.
“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,” Gobert said.
“I want to win, and I believe in this group and I believe in this organisation.”
Gobert said his new pay deal – the highest ever for a centre – showed faith from the team.
“It means that they believe in me,” he said.
“They believe in what we’ve been building over the years with this whole organisation, with coach (Quin Snyder) and all the guys.”
In addition to his All-NBA accolades, Gobert has twice been named defensive player of the year, made four All-Defensive teams and was an All-Star this past season, when he averaged 15.1 points, 13.5 rebounds and 2.0 blocks.
The 27th overall pick in 2013, Gobert has averaged 11.7 points, 11.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks over 474 career games (382 starts), all with Utah.
The Jazz, who went 3-0 in pre-season play, open the regular season at the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday.