With less than a few hours until the start of free agency in the NBA, Ricky Rubio is the next player to be on the move. The Minnesota Timberwolves have agreed to trade starting point guard Ricky Rubio to the Utah Jazz for a 2018 first round pick in the NBA Draft; multiple sources have confirmed. The draft pick that Utah will be sending to Minnesota is the Oklahoma City Thunder’s pick, which will now go to the Timberwolves in the exchange.
Rubio, who had been subjected to several trade rumors over the last few years, is the latest move in the Timberwolves re-shaping of the roster. On the night of the 2017 NBA Draft, the Timberwolves acquired Jimmy Butler in a trade with the Chicago Bulls and sent Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn to Chicago.
Now, Ricky Rubio is the latest player on the move, as he is now headed to Utah. Back at the trade deadline in February, Rubio was involved in a potential trade with the New York Knicks that would have sent Derrick Rose to Minnesota with Rubio headed to New York, but neither side could agree on the deal.
The Knicks reportedly still tried for Ricky Rubio in a deal with the Timberwolves, but because the Knicks didn’t want to give up a first round pick, a deal was never reached and Minnesota looked elsewhere to make a deal.
Now that Rubio is out in Minnesota, his departure could pave the way for Tom Thibodeau to either look to bring Rose there or potentially sign one of the free-agent point guards such as Toronto Raptors’ Kyle Lowry. Rose played on the Bulls when Thibodeau was the head coach there and a reunion would make a ton of sense between the two.
The 26-year-old Rubio, who was a former first-round pick of the Timberwolves back in the 2009 NBA Draft, has spent his entire career in Minnesota, which didn’t begin until the 2011-2012 season. Rubio averaged 11.1 points, 9.1 assists, and 4.1 rebounds in 75 games for Minnesota this past season. The Jazz will inherit the remaining two years of Ricky Rubio’s deal, which will pay him $28.9 million over the course of that time.