Ricky Rubio, Minnesota Timberwolves’ point guard, won’t be traded this year, according to several sources close to the organization.
Rubio has been subject to numerous trade talks ever since Minnesota drafted Kris Dunn in last month’s NBA Draft. With Zach LaVine and Tyus Jones also part of the backcourt, Rubio was expected to make way for the younger guards.
Ricky Rubio to mentor Kris Dunn?
Tom Thibodeau, coach and president of the franchise, has insisted that Rubio could help ease Dunn into the NBA and mentor him in the process. “I think they (Rubio and Dunn) have good size; they have good toughness,” Thibodeau told the Pioneer Press earlier this summer when asked about fitting both point guards into the rotation.
“It’s a different look. I think you’re seeing that more and more now, where you have two point guards on the floor. They’re both capable of playing off each other,” added Thibodeau, who took over as the president of basketball operations in April.
Meanwhile, Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor reiterated that the team is not shopping Rubio. “I don’t see that as a likely possibility. I just think the coach, everybody, likes Ricky. I think we want him to come in and improve on his shooting. But his other things, he plays defense, he gets assists, he helps the others get better. He has some wonderful qualities,” Taylor was quoted as saying by the Star Tribune.
A liability as a shooter…
Rubio, a solid floor general, is also a liability on the scoring front. Despite averaging 8.3 assists per game for his career, Rubio has never shot better than 38 per cent over a season. He’s also a 31 per cent shooter from deep – statistics that don’t cut it in the modern NBA.
Taylor wants Thibodeau and his coaching staff to help Ricky Rubio improve as a shooter. “I think (Thibodeau) wants to bring an assistant coach to help Ricky on his shooting. I think that’s where we’re going to start out and go and we’ll see how good Kris Dunn is,” added the Timberwolves owner.
Ricky Rubio has three years left on his contract. If Minnesota don’t make the playoffs next season, it’s highly unlikely that the Spaniard spends all three years with the Timberwolves.