Despite everyone being so convinced the Minnesota Timberwolves will draft a big man with their number one overall pick, there’s a chance they go in a different direction: Taking D’Angelo Russell (point guard) out of Ohio State which will lead to trading Ricky Rubio.
Overall, Rubio is a disappointment. A fantastic passer in both quantity (8.8 per game last season) and in flair, but he’s regressed as a defender and hasn’t moved forward an inch as a shooter. In the kind of league the NBA is becoming, it’s impossible to have a ball dominant player teams aren’t afraid to leave wide open outside the paint.
So while there’s Jahlil Okafor and Karl-Anthony Towns to choose from, maybe the Timberwolves go in a different direction and take someone like Russell who might not be as flashy with his passes as Rubio is, but he’s a much better shooter (41.1% from beyond the arc) and might be able to add a certain dimension to the Timberwolves they’ve been lacking with Rubio, who has just one full NBA season under his belt, playing just 22 games last year.
It’s not automatic. Rubio has four years worth $55 million. He’s popular with the fanbase and valued by the franchise as still a cornerstone going forward. He’s only 24 (been playing pro basketball for almost 10 years), but in the business of getting better, if the Timberwolves receive a nice offer which helps them get better immediately, don’t be surprised if they pull the trigger on it AND take Russell in the draft.