Not only is Rubio a replacement for free-agent point guard George Hill, but also ESPN.com's Ramona Shelburne reported Gordon Hayward made it clear to the Jazz he was hopeful he'd get to play with Rubio in Salt Lake City.
The Salt Lake Tribune's Tony Jones provided more perspective:
So, Rubio's arrival would seemingly increase the Jazz's chances of re-signing Hayward.
The Boston Globe's Adam Himmelsbach reported Monday that Hayward was set to meet with Utah but hadn't determined when he'll make his final decision. Shelburne and her colleague Tim MacMahon later reported Rubio was part of the Jazz contingent meeting along with Rudy Gobert, Joe Ingles and others.
Gobert, Celtics point guard Isaiah Thomas and Heat center Hassan Whiteside did their best to lobby Hayward through a series of emojis on Twitter:
If Utah fails to re-sign Hayward, it would be a major blow since a number of its rivals in the Western Conference have made significant upgrades.
Minnesota traded for Jimmy Butler, and ESPN.com's Adrian Wojnarowski reported it also agreed to a deal with Jeff Teague. Meanwhile, the Oklahoma City Thunder have a deal in place with the Indiana Pacers for Paul George, per Shelburne, and ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst reported Monday the Denver Nuggets agreed to a three-year contract with Paul Millsap. And the Houston Rockets traded for Chris Paul.
In what is shaping up to be a tight race for the top four seeds in the West, retaining Hayward is likely the only way the Jazz can ensure they have a chance to build on last year's fifth-place finish in the conference.