Ricky Rubio Says Jazz Have Told Him He's Not a Priority in 2019 NBA Free Agency

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJune 2, 2019

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 22: Ricky Rubio #3 of the Utah Jazz brings the ball up court against the Houston Rockets in the first half of Game Four during the first round of the 2019 NBA Western Conference Playoffs at Vivint Smart Home Arena on April 22, 2019 in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images

Free-agent-to-be Ricky Rubio provided a peek into the Utah Jazz's offseason plans this summer, and he's apparently not in them.

Speaking in his native Spanish to an interviewer, Rubio said, "Utah has let me know that I am not a priority for them" (h/t Mychal Lowman of SB Nation's SLC Dunk).

Shortly after the Jazz's season-ending defeat to the Houston Rockets in the first round of the playoffs, Rubio was vague about his offseason preferences.

"When free agency comes, now that the season is over, I can start thinking and see where I want to go, where I can go," he told reporters. "But one thing I’m gonna look [at] for sure is the best situation for me, with the coach and the team. … I want to be happy. I'm gonna try to find the best situation for me to perform and be happy."

Rubio averaged 12.7 points and 6.1 assists while shooting 31.1 percent from three-point range this year.

Rubio has never been much of a long-range threat (32.2 career three-point percentage), a flaw that can be overcome with the right supporting cast.

Utah, on the other hand, tied for ninth in made three-pointers (12.1 per game) and tied for 10th in three-point percentage (35.6). In addition, the team doesn't have a great secondary scoring option behind Donovan Mitchell. Rubio was second on the team in scoring (15.4 points) in the postseason.

The Jazz's collective strength works well in the regular season but becomes a clear issue in a seven-game playoff series, when opponents can focus a lot of their attention on Mitchell. 

The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported May 15 the Jazz could put together a trade package for Mike Conley this summer. Although Conley is owed a little more than $67 million over the next two years, Conley would be a clear upgrade over Rubio.

Restricted free agent Malcolm Brogdon is an option as well, though the Jazz would likely have to move some contracts around. Utah is projected to have as much as $16.8 million available, per Spotrac, which might not be enough to have the Milwaukee Bucks avoid matching Brogdon's offer sheet.

The Jazz could run it back with this same roster and remain a playoff contender in 2020. If they want to potentially raise their overall ceiling, then parting ways with Rubio is the smart move.