Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio has played slightly reduced minutes from a year ago as fellow point guard Zach LaVine continues to show improvement. This made Rubio an intriguing trade chip for the franchise, however the point guard would not be dealt before Thursday's trade deadline.
Continue for updates.
Bucks Unable to Complete Rubio Trade
Thursday, Feb. 18
ESPN's Marc Stein reported that the Milwaukee Bucks talked to Minnesota about Rubio but were unable to agree to terms on a trade. The trade would have involved Khris Middleton going to Minnesota, according to Jon Krawczynski of the Associated Press, who added the Bucks made "several runs" at Rubio.
Knicks Reportedly Interested in Rubio
Thursday, Feb. 18
Ian Begley of ESPN New York reported the Knicks "recently expressed interest" in Rubio, but added a deal was unlikely to get done before the deadline.
Timberwolves Not Shopping Rubio
Tuesday, Feb. 16
Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical reported the Timberwolves are not involved in trade discussions surrounding Rubio, but noted "that may change in the summer."
Timberwolves Reportedly Had Interest in Moving Rubio
Monday, Feb. 15
According to Frank Isola of the New York Daily News, "Rubio is readily available and the feeling is that the Spanish guard could be moved prior to Thursday's NBA trade deadline." Isola added that the New York Knicks would likely be interested in Rubio, though it's unlikely the team has the assets to acquire him.
Rubio's Production Declining With Timberwolves
One factor in Minnesota's decision to shop Rubio is that his production is down from a year ago, albeit only marginally. The 25-year-old is averaging 9.7 points, 8.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds in 30.3 minutes per game, all lower than his totals from last season.
Meanwhile, LaVine has emerged as the team's third-leading scorer behind Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, averaging 12.8 points in 24.4 minutes per game. And LaVine—who just won the NBA Slam Dunk Contest for the second year in a row—fits in nicely with the young, athletic core the Timberwolves are building.
Rubio's struggles with injuries in the past may also factor into a decision to trade him if the team goes that route, along with his mediocre jump shot. As Derek Bodner of Draft Express noted, Rubio has defined strengths and weaknesses in his game:
But ultimately Rubio will stay in Minnesota for the remainder of the year. He's still young and under team control for the next three seasons. But the Timberwolves will likely do their due diligence on the market again in the summer, hoping a team blows them away with an offer for the talented point guard.