The Utah Jazz are reportedly landing a new point guard. Shams Charania of The Vertical first reported that Utah was in talks to acquire Ricky Rubio from the Minnesota Timberwolves. Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune later reported that the deal was “happening.”
The Ricky Rubio trade is happening, sources tell The Salt Lake Tribune. Deal is close to being done
— Eric Walden (@tribjazz) June 30, 2017
ESPN’s Marc Stein confirms that a trade is in the works. Reportedly, Minnesota will acquire a first-round pick from Utah in the 2018 NBA Draft in exchange for Rubio.
Breaking: The Jazz will acquire Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 30, 2017
Rubio getting traded is no surprise. Following the NBA season, it was reported that the Timberwolves and point Rubio were ready to part ways.
Utah certainly makes sense as a destination. The Jazz were a good team in 2017, but are clearly a level below the best teams in the Western Conference. Additionally, Zach Lowe of ESPN noted that the acquisition of Rubio would help Utah in its quest to keep Gordon Hayward.
Utah needs to stabilize PG position to have a real shot at keeping Hayward. Would use cap space that expires in 7-plus hours. https://t.co/6Lwm03KvJZ
— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) June 30, 2017
Rubio averaged 11.1 points and 9.1 assists for Minnesota during the 2016-17 season.
For Minnesota, this could potentially mean that the team is honing in on an upgrade at the point. Derrick Rose had previously been bandied about as a possibility. Meanwhile, the newly acquired Jimmy Butler is already recruiting fellow All-Star Kyle Lowry to the twin cities.