Ricky Rubio and Nerlens Noel are among the players to watch midway through the upcoming NBA season. They could be wearing new uniforms before the trade deadline in February.
Both were mentioned in numerous trade reports over the summer. They were never traded due to the lack of appealing offers.
Fox Sports reported that the Minnesota Timberwolves now have another reason for wanting to part ways with Rubio. The team recently selected Kris Dunn in this year’s Rookie Draft.
The Providence standout has proven to be a better scorer and defender than Rubio. He won both the Big East Player of the Year Award and Big East Defensive Player of the Year Award in the last two NCAA seasons.
Rubio is an exceptional passer, but he is a liability on defense. His limitations might not sit well with new Timberwolves head coach and president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau.
The 25-year-old Spaniard also has difficulty shooting the ball. In an era when having a scoring point guard is a key to success, Rubio cripples the Timberwolves with his career field goal percentage of 36.8 percent and career three-point percentage of 31.8 percent, as per ESPN.
As for 76ers, the team simply can’t keep its trio of promising big men. Nerlens Noel, Joel Embiid and Jahlil Okafor all play the center position. If healthy, Embiid is projected to be the untouchable among the group.
The 76ers may prefer Okafor over Noel since he has a significantly better face-up game and can play the power forward spot if need be. It doesn’t help that Noel has been very critical about the whole situation.
“Don’t get me wrong. We all get along great on the court and off the court,” Noel told Philly.com. “But at the end of the day, it’s like having three starting quarterbacks. It doesn’t make any sense.”