The Minnesota Timberwolves’ Ricky Rubio and the Philadelphia 76ers’ Nerlens Noel are two names that have come up often in NBA Trade Rumors. But this is one that may actually make sense. You could see the frustration mounting as Noel has gone on record as saying:
“I think it’s just silly . . . this situation that we are in now with three starting centers,” Noel said on the eve of the Sixers’ media day. “With the departure of [former general manager and president] Sam Hinkie, I would have figured that management would be able to get something done this summer.”
The 76ers are in DIRE need of a PG. Not any point but one that can make things happen. The 76ers thought they had the answer when they drafted Michael Carter-Williams in 2014 but as quick as they got him, they shipped him out even quicker. Last season they gave the keys to Ish Smith and he produced with averages 15 points and seven assists. But that wasn’t good enough to keep him in the offseason and they let him walk to Detroit.
The 76ers are now left with either Jerryd Bayless or Anthony Barber and neither screams productive season. If Rubio is set to come to Philadelphia, this singular move will place them within the top eight teams in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Rubio, Gerald Henderson, Ben Simmons, Jahlil Okafor and Joel Embiid will make the 76ers one of the most athletic and defensive teams in the NBA.
On Minnesota side of things, the is will assure them of a playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Wolves have endured enough, missing the playoffs for the last 12 years. But, the Wolves have been a mainstay in the lottery and finally have the pieces needed to contend for one of the eight spots. Rubio’s name is mentioned every year but this might be the year they finally let him go. The Wolves drafted PG Kris Dunn with the 5th pick in hopes he could push Rubio to either the bench or another team.
There will be no loser in this trade. The 76ers will get a PG that can produce, as Rubio is more of a pass first, pass second and shoot third, guard. The Timberwolves will get a much-needed defensive presence in the post to pair with Karl-Anthony Towns. It may take the 76ers a season or two to get where they would like to be but the Wolves, depending on how fast Dunn can pick up and master the NBA fast pace game, may be set for the 2016-17 season.