While the New York Knicks are perhaps looking for a way to improve immediately and make the playoffs now, one team that might be offering something they’d be interested in are the Minnesota Timberwolves, willing to take calls regarding a Ricky Rubio trade.
The Timberwolves waited two years after taking Rubio in the 2009 draft with the 5th overall pick, and except for the shortened 2011-2012 season which would have ended with a playoff berth if it wasn’t for Rubio tearing a knee ligament, it’s been a disappointing experience with the Spanish point guard, who hasn’t budged in his overall efficiency and skill set, averaging 9.7 points and 8.6 assists per game this season while shooting 36.1% from the field. A fun player to watch on the open floor, but he provides zero threat in terms of shooting, which is impossible to have in today’s NBA.
There’s pressure on the Knicks to make a move in the next few days and try and get a playoff berth this season. Is Rubio someone who can help them make it? He’s probably a slight upgrade at point guard for them, but considering he’s not coming for free, it’s hard to believe the Knicks of all teams have the assets in players or draft picks to make a trade happen.
The Minnesota Timberwolves are building around Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns. Rubio, making $42.6 million over the next three seasons (guaranteed) seems to be someone that’s possibly holding them back. He hasn’t developed like many thought he would, and considering the money he’s making, the Timberwolves figure they can get someone who fits in a lot better with their vision for this team.
Are the Knicks the team to work with on this? Probably not. While the Timberwolves are probably tired or rebuilding, they’re not making the playoffs this season, and with next season being the target now to ending their postseason drought, it’s hard to see the Knicks putting the pieces together to make a trade happen. The Timberwolves want a lot back for Rubio, which just like the Atlanta Hawks are finding out regarding Al Horford and Jeff Teague, puts them in a position that makes the trade very difficult to complete.