Though he’ll start the year with the 2016-17 Minnesota Timberwolves, point guard Ricky Rubio might find himself on the Sacramento Kings before too long, according to the latest NBA trade rumors.
The Minnesota Timberwolves should be a team in playoff contention in the Western Conference this season.
They have a new head coach in Tom Thibodeau that will get the most of its young corps, two All-Star caliber frontcourt players in center Karl-Anthony Towns and small forward Andrew Wiggins, and a trio of savvy ball handlers in the backcourt in Zach LaVine, Ricky Rubio and rookie Kris Dunn out of Providence.
Though Minnesota is largely expected to hold onto Rubio as its starting point guard for the beginning of 2016-17, Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 said that Rubio might end up getting moved to another Western Conference team: the Sacramento Kings.
Wolfson knows that Rubio will start the season as the Timberwolves’ starting point guard, but when Dunn elevates his play by midseason, Rubio could very well be shipped to lowly Kings of Northern California.
Sacramento’s point guard situation might now be the worst in the NBA after last year’s starter Rajon Rondo signed with the Chicago Bulls in free agency. The presumed starter for Sacramento entering 2016-17 is likely Darren Collison, but he is facing domestic violence charges. Sacramento’s other option is 30-year-old journeyman Garrett Temple.
With the Kings having a new head coach in Dave Joerger who is used to great play at point guard from his time working with Mike Conley on the Memphis Grizzlies’ staff, once Sacramento can no longer stomach its awful play at the point, expect general manager Vlade Divac to inquire with the Timberwolves about what it will take to land Rubio in Sacramento.
The Kings have some good players like All-NBA center DeMarcus Cousins and go-to wing scorer Rudy Gay, but Sacramento’s decade plus of dysfunction has made them a running joke in NBA circles.
Sure, Minnesota will part ways with Rubio when Dunn is ready, but will the Kings have anything of value to offer an on-the-rise Timberwolves team in return? Sacramento has an absurd number of big men, so maybe that’s what Thibodeau will want to help solidify his defense in exchange for Rubio.