Once upon a time, the Minnesota Timberwolves had a promising future build around a young superstar power forward in Kevin Love. That future dissipated when the Wolves repeatedly failed to make the playoffs and Love eventually asked to be traded. The late Flip Saunders flipped Love into Andrew Wiggins, turned a first overall pick into Karl-Anthony Towns, and now, the Wolves have a promising future once again.
But some pieces from the old era of the Wolves still remain, namely Nikola Pekovic and Ricky Rubio. With every passing year it looks more and more like Pekovic’s career will end due to his sad inability to stay healthy. And with every passing day, it looks more and more likely that Rubio does not fit in with the new young Wolves.
For now, the Wolves hope to resist trading their starting point guard. But one team is pushing hard to change their minds.
The Sacramento Kings are the most determined of several teams expressing interest in finding a pathway to a Rubio deal, league sources said, but Minnesota president and coach Tom Thibodeau is reluctant to move Rubio – outside of bringing back a no-brainer package, of course – until Dunn’s progress illustrates this season that he’s ready to fully take over the team.”
— Adrian Wojnarowski via The Vertical
Rubio is a limited player but he has an obvious skill set, and in the right situation could be very useful. He can’t shoot at all or really create points for himself other than through free throw attempts, which he saw an uptick in last year. But he is simply one of the best passers in the league and also plays elite defense at the point guard position.
I don’t really like the fit for the Kings because a lineup with Rubio and DeMarcus Cousins would need to be filled out with shooters, and I don’t think Sacramento has them. I also don’t see a “no-brainer package” the Kings could offer. But it’s clear the Kings are desperate for a point guard given they were just involved in Goran Dragic trade rumors as well, so we will see what they can pull off.