- Ricky Rubio could be on the move again before the March 25th NBA trade deadline
- A Rubio trade is seemingly inevitable with the Timberwolves struggling
- Which teams could swing a deal for Rubio?
During the course of Ricky Rubio’s career in the NBA, the job description of the point guard position changed drastically. It used to be that point guards were primarily required to set up their teammates for clean shot opportunities. Now, they are required to stretch the floor and score, in addition to the prior mentioned responsibilities. It would almost be silly for the Minnesota Timberwolves to hang on to Rubio past the trade deadline, but his market in light of the altered point guard landscape is uncertain.
Let’s take a closer look at Rubio’s stats. He’s never been a big time scorer, but has been a respectable double digit per game scorer for the vast majority of his career. This year, he’s averaging a career low 8 points a night, but other teams likely won’t hold that against him. The more concerning statistic for Rubio is his three point shooting percentage. Last year with the Suns, he shot a career high 36% from downtown, which is a figure teams can work with. Unfortunately, so far this season, that number has plummeted to 32%, which is difficult to accept.
Be that as it may, Rubio still provides respectable playmaking ability, and should be the target of a trade even if Minnesota only gets back a conditional second round pick. Which teams might be interested in acquiring the veteran guard?
The Celtics have been on the doorstep of the NBA Finals for a few years now, and will only need a couple of minor tweaks to get over the hump in the Eastern Conference. One of the biggest question marks the team faces is the health of Kemba Walker’s knee. If he’s anything resembling the player he was in Charlotte, Boston might have to be considered the favorites in the East. But his health is far from a given.
In Walker’s absence/ramp up period, the Celtics have found a nice surprise with rookie guard Payton Pritchard. He’s showed signs of being a respectable NBA guard, but is not likely someone the team would lean on in the postseason by choice.
The team also signed longtime point guard Jeff Teague, but he doesn’t appear to have much left in the tank. While Rubio’s addition might seem redundant, his arrival would upgrade their reserve playmaking notably, and can act as an insurance policy should Walker’s knee start flaring up.
By design, the Dallas Mavericks funnel their offense through Luka Doncic primarily. He’s one of the most talented offensive players in the NBA, and deserves all of the accolades and responsibility the team gives him. But what happens when he’s off the floor?
Point guard Jalen Brunson has had a nice season in Dallas, but really is the point guard in name only. He’s more of a secondary ballhandler than a creator, which is fine for Dallas’ needs. However, Rubio’s addition would allow Dallas to spell Doncic from the entirety of the offensive playmaking load he currently shoulders.
He’s also just looking to win at this stage of his career, and would not monopolize the ball at the detriment of the team. Rubio would be a worthwhile trade target for them.
There are few teams who have a level of dropoff at the point guard position as starkly as the Memphis Grizzlies. Ja Morant remains one of the most promising prospects in the NBA, but the playmaking ability of the other players on the roster is suspect at best.
They could use an infusion of ballhandling and creativity in their backcourt, and Rubio’s acquisition at the trade deadline would provide just that. Since Memphis is once again on the doorstep of the playoffs and don’t want to miss out this time, they might try to make an offer a week or two before the deadline.