While "no deal appeared imminent Friday," the Pistons and Timberwolves discussed a swap involving Reggie Jackson and Ricky Rubio this week, according to ESPN's Marc Stein and Chris Haynes. Minnesota swingman Shabazz Muhammad would reportedly be involved in a potential deal, too.
There is logic to both teams looking at making a change. While Rubio has been much better in the past two weeks, for most of the season he has had to deal with his play-making responsibilities dwindling under new Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau. Minnesota selected his replacement, Kris Dunn, in last year's draft, and Rubio's name has been in trade rumors for the better part of the last year. Jackson, meanwhile, has struggled to keep all his teammates happy since returning from a knee injury in early December, and his strong individual numbers might be seen as less important than the fact that the Pistons have lost their spirit and defensive identity in the new year.
The weird part about this is I'm not sure either team solves its problems here. If they do this, the Wolves might benefit from Jackson's attacking mentality in the pick-and-roll, but they'd probably get worse defensively and they wouldn't open up any more playing time for Dunn. Detroit, on the other hand, would get a more natural facilitator as well as a better defender and rebounder, but its issues with shooting and spacing would be exacerbated.
This is a fascinating idea for a couple of teams that have plenty of talent and could use a shot in the arm. It's also exciting because it's a rare example of a trade that has little to do with financial flexibility or varying organizational goals. You don't often see competing teams decide that they simply value their players differently and swap them, particularly when they play the same position.