Ricky Rubio Trade Rumors: Magic 'Kicking the Tires' on Move for T-Wolves PG

Blake SchusterSenior Analyst IIMarch 16, 2021

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9) dribbles in the first half of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Thursday, March 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)
Matthew Hinton/Associated Press

Ricky Rubio's return to the Minnesota Timberwolves may be short-lived if the Orlando Magic get their way. 

According to Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated, Orlando has been "kicking the tires" on the 30-year-old point guard as the March 25 trade deadline nears.

Ahead of the 2020-21 season, Rubio was dealt back to a T-Wolves franchise that drafted him No. 5 overall in 2009. The guard was first sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Nov. 16 as part of the Chris Paul trade only to be dealt to Minnesota two days later in a draft-night deal that sent the rights of Aleksej Pokusevski to OKC. 

In 37 games this year, Rubio has averaged 8.2 points, 6.5 assists and 3.2 rebounds in 25.7 minutes per night, including 22 starts. 

The Spaniard has one year left on a three-year, $51 million deal and is set to earn $17.8 million in 2021-22. 

With starting point guard Markelle Fultz out of the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL on January 6, it makes sense the Magic would look at someone like Rubio, who becomes a free agent in the near future but can serve as a bit of an insurance policy in the backcourt while Fultz works his way back into the rotation. 

It's unclear what the Timberwolves would be looking for in return should a deal come together. 

At 9-30, and dead last in wins, Minnesota doesn't have much of a need for the type of talent Orlando could entice contenders with. However, the Timberwolves currently have the eighth-highest total cap in the league ($131.9 million) and could use some relief there. Getting rid of Rubio's $17 million cap hit would take some pressure off the club there, but most of that money is tied up in Karl-Anthony Towns, D'Angelo Russell and Malik Beasley. 

Mannix noted the Magic are open to moving anyone except Markelle Fultz and Jonathan Isaac. If any remaining asset interests the Timberwolves, this deal could help both sides in the short-term.