Being a big Timberwolves fan, I want to see the point guard phenom in a Timberwolves jersey. Realistically, there is a strong possibility it won’t happen, and he could be dealt to a bigger market team at Ricky Rubio’s (and his dad’s) request.
Let’s look at some trade possibilities.
Knicks have already expressed interest in Rubio. Coach Mike D’Antoni likes the run-and-gun offense with a point guard that can play quick and pass the ball around well, much like he had in Steve Nash in Phoenix.
D’Antoni would love to have the young point guard prodigy and he's been compared with D'Antoni's former point guard in Steve Nash. Current Knick’s starter, Chris Duhon, is a quality backup point guard, and is not considered the point guard of the future for the Knicks. Nate Robinson has great range as a shooter and attacks the hoop well, but does not possess the vision and passing skills D’Antoni would like in his point guard position.
There was talk before that draft that Boston was looking into acquiring the No. 2 pick to grab Rubio. Apparently, according to a source, Rubio was “a Danny Ainge type of player.”
A relationship between Rajon Rondo and GM Danny Ainge is also quietly heating up.
Ainge recently went on a radio show and said on air that Rondo was not a “max-type player,” responding to a question about Rondo’s contract status (one year remaining). The Celtic camp have criticized Rondo as being hard-to-coach and that is being considered before they give him a big contract. Rondo is at his peak value and may provide a scoring threat for the Wolves as a combo-guard.
3. Portland Blazers
Speculation around the blogosphere have the Blazer’s linked to the Timberwolves and their two young point guards drafted. Point guard is regarded as a position of need for the Blazers. The Blazers traded backup point Sergio Rodriguez to the Kings in a swap that includes second-round draft picks and would free up some salary cap space for the Blazers.
Steve Blake, 29, is listed as the starting point guard for the young squad, and is returning from an arthroscopic shoulder surgery on May 29 to repair a separated shoulder.
The Blazers would love to take either Jonny Flynn or Rubio from the Timberwolves. With Brandon Roy and Greg Oden presumably tagged untouchable, the Blazers have limited trade assets the Timberwolves would like. Players Nicolas Batum and Martell Webster would be considered, but may not be enough.
Future picks may also be required to lock a deal.
The Mavericks are a team heavy in veterans. They do not possess young assets the Timberwolves desire, but may be a big player in acquiring Rubio or Flynn. Dallas may look into contacting a third team, and look to trade Jason Terry and/or Josh Howard to a team looking to win now that possesses good young talent.
Jason Kidd is 36 (turning 37 next season), and Rubio could learn a lot playing a season or two behind Kidd. The Mavericks are undoubtedly interested, but will need help making it happen.
The Kings are desperate for a starting point guard.
They recently acquired Sergio Rodriguez from the Blazers, but he’s not going to be the starter for the next decade. The Kings have an aging Bobby Jackson and inconsistent Beno Udrih listed at point guard.
The Kings have interesting trade candidates in Spencer Hawes, Jason Thompson and Kevin Martin. Some may feel Martin is untouchable, but this is a team that won 17 games last season and drafted shooting guard Tyreke Evans. Rebuilding a team around a Rubio and Evans doesn’t sound at all too bad.
There are definitely more candidates that can emerge out of the water. Many NBA teams are drooling over Rubio’s abilities and would be crazy not to at least speak internally about it.
Nam Huynh is a writer for http://www.mn-sz.com.