Timberwolves trade Ricky Rubio to Jazz

As compensation, the Jazz will send Minnesota the 2018 first-round pick that they previously held from Oklahoma City, acquired two years ago in the Enes Kanter deal. It's a potentially risky decision, as Teague isn't almost as strong of a defender as Rubio, but the spacing concerns a Rubio-Butler-Andrew Wiggins backcourt presented sent Minnesota in a different direction. However, it now looks like IN is among the teams that have scrapped their roster IN favor of a rebuild, with the recent Paul George trade and now Jeff Teague free agency moves adding to that. Other targets could be Toronto all-star point guard Kyle Lowry or Utah's George Hill. With Rubio, who shot 31 percent on 2.6 three-point attempts per game last season, it would be even worse.

Rubio had been with the Timberwolves since 2009, so the deal to the Jazz will come as a bit of a culture shock for the point guard, just weeks after the team acquired a big star in Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls to add to their young lineup.

The arrival of Rubio, who had only played 22 games in the 2015-16 season due to injuries, seems to indicate that Utah has lost all hope of keeping his leader George Hill.

Minnesota desperately needs shooters to complete the team they are now assembling.

Rubio, 26, has spent his first six National Basketball Association seasons with the Timberwolves, who drafted him with the fifth pick in 2009. The Wolves were looking to upgrade their shooting after trading for Jimmy Butler last week.

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In total the Wolves have nine players (including the eventual signing of Patton) under contract, with three unrestricted free agents: Omri Casspi, Adreian Payne, and Brandon Rush, and one restricted free agent, Shabazz Muhammad. The deal was reported by the Associated Press just minutes after free agency's official 11 p.m. central start time.

Tony Snell has agreed on a four-year deal that could be worth up to $46 million to stay with the Bucks, according to a person familiar with the deal. At least Rubio gives the Jazz more stability should Exum continue to struggle. Rubio was set to make $14.2 million next season.

For starters, even as I say the winners of this deal can span outside of the two teams involved, an obvious victor in this Rubio deal is the Minnesota Timberwolves. He has two years left on his current contract at $14.1 million this coming season, and $14.8 million in the 2018-19 season.

The future is bright in Minnesota, and if cards fall the right way, this offseason and the following year could be a monumental in Minnesota Timberwolves history.


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