There’s absolutely no doubt about Ricky Rubio’s talent, although his lack of shooting and his durability have been major question marks over the course of his entire career with Barcelona, Spain and of course, the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Rubio’s playmaking ability has always been off the charts, as well as his outstanding passes and his way above average defense, but it feels like his time in Minny had to be over a couple of years ago, always being part of trade rumors but never getting good value in return for the Spaniard.
Now, as Thibodeau’s team also has an instant offense kind of point guard in Tyus Jones and an athletic monster with NBA ready defense in Kris Dunn, it feels like the franchise is more than ready to move on and let Rubio walk, but where could he actually thrive the most while providing good value for his team? Let’s take a look at the top 5 destinations for Ricky Rubio.
The Mavericks almost managed to pull off a great comeback and turn around a horrible season last year, but the lack of a pure playmaker really hurt their chances. Of course, undrafted rookie Yogi Ferrell did a pretty decent job, Barea was able to produce when healthy and Seth Curry had flashes of a great shooting stroke, although he was way more comfortable off the ball, while Deron Williams was a major flop, so you know they will be in the hunt for a PG during the offseason.
Carlisle is one of the best coaches in the NBA and pairing Rubio with Dirk, Wesley Matthews, Nerlens Noel and Harrison Barnes would definitely boost their chances, so they could part ways with DeAndre Liggins, Dwight Powell and Devin Harris, as well as a future 2nd rounder in order to land the 26-year-old.
The Denver Nuggets looked like a way much better team when they decided to send sophomore point guard Emmanuel Mudiay to the doghouse, and they showed a lot of interesting things during the last passages of the season, although they definitely need a good playmaker if they want to come back into the playoffs.
So, Denver could send the 13th overall pick in this draft as well as Darrell Arthur, Will Barton and Malik Beasley to Minnesota to provide a bit of shooting and a boost in their second unit, while the Nuggets would finally get that point guard they need since Ty Lawson’s departure.
New York Knicks
The Knicks have been completely horrible and there’s little they can do to turn things around, but adding Rubio to the mix would definitely be a step in the right direction, being a pass-first kind of player that could definitely thrive in the pick and roll with sophomore Willy Hernangomez as well as opening up spaces for both Carmelo Anthony (should he stay in NY) and Kristaps Porzingis.
Rumors are the Knicks are going to be quite aggressive during the offseason and that they’re more than willing to add their 8th overall pick in a trade package, so they could pair it with European prospect Mindaugas Kuzminskas, Lance Thomas and standout backup center Kyle O’Quinn to get the Spaniard.
Jason Kidd seems quite comfortable with Giannis Antetokounmpo and Malcolm Brogdon sharing touches to run the Bucks offense, although freeing both players of playmaking duties while Matthew Dellavedova handles the second unit would definitely provide more flow to a Milwaukee offense that sometimes stalls in isolation.
Rubio would definitely thrive in that offense considering how much of a great cutter and aggressive player Giannis is, and they could send their 17th overall pick to Minnesota along with John Henson to provide some much-needed rim protection, as well as Rashad Vaughn to backup Zach LaVine.
The Pelicans put their future into the hands of Jrue Holiday, a very talented point guard, but his durability and health concerns are huge and it feels like his time with the Pelicans may finally be over, and if they manage to keep DeMarcus Cousins, they could create a great tandem with Rubio and Anthony Davis to try and make a run in the West.
Sadly, they don’t currently own a 1st round pick and would kind of struggle to create an attractive package to lure Rubio in, but they could still send their 40th pick as well as Omer Asik and Solomon Hill to provide some rebounding and defense as well as three-point shooting to the Timberwolves.