The Minnesota Timberwolves are "actively shopping" Ricky Rubio, according to The Vertical's Adrian Wojnarowski. Rubio, 26, was once seen as the future of the franchise at point guard, but new president and coach Tom Thibodeau drafted his successor, Kris Dunn, last June. Swingman Shabazz Muhammad could also reportedly be headed out the door in a potential Rubio deal.
From The Vertical:
The Timberwolves have attached Rubio to multiple offers with Shabazz Muhammad to several teams around the NBA, league sources said. Minnesota has been seeking something of a "bridge" guard in return, a player capable of starting in the short term, but who'll ultimately settle into a backup role and give way to rookie Kris Dunn to become the long-term starter, league sources said.
The Sacramento Kings have had a strong interest in acquiring Rubio, but there's no traction on a deal between those two teams, league sources said. So far, the Timberwolves are trying to exhaust the market elsewhere for a better return of assets than the Kings can offer.
A few thoughts:
- This is the least surprising news of the day. There were rumors about Rubio in the summer and even before Thibodeau arrived. Minnesota didn't draft Dunn with the No. 5 pick to be a backup forever, and Rubio understands that as well as anybody.
- Rubio could be a nice addition for a team in need of a point guard. His strengths -- wonderful passing, excellent defense, above-average rebounding -- outweigh his major weakness -- shooting -- as long as he has capable shooters around him. I wish he had improved more as a scorer, but I'd still love to see him in a fast-paced system where he gets to run pick-and-rolls and make his teammates better.
- The league is full of good point guards, so it's difficult to find a great fit for him. Here are a few ideas, in addition to the Kings:
- Orlando Magic: I'm not sure how committed they are to Elfrid Payton. If they're not, then Rubio could be the kind of facilitator they haven't had in some time ... as long as they stop playing Aaron Gordon at the 3 and prioritize floor spacing.
- New Orleans Pelicans: Jrue Holiday will be a free agent this summer, and it's unclear what he intends to do. If the Pelicans are scared of losing him, then Rubio and Anthony Davis seems like a nice combination.
- Dallas Mavericks: Rubio is only two years older than Harrison Barnes, and the Mavericks do not have a point guard of the future. He's the kind of guy that can make Dirk Nowitzki's life easier in the short-term and help the Mavericks build something new when Nowitzki retires.
- New York Knicks: To say the Knicks' point guard situation is in flux would be an understatement. Rubio seems like the kind of guy Phil Jackson would appreciate because of his basketball IQ, but I'm not sure that Jackson has the right assets to get a deal done.
- Atlanta Hawks: Mike Budenholzer has been referred to as a "shooting zealot," so I hesitated to list them here. Rubio's passing would fit in well, though.
- Chicago Bulls: Just kidding. The last thing they need is another non-shooter. They do need a Rajon Rondo replacement, though.