Well. It finally, actually happened.
The Minnesota Timberwolves have traded point guard Ricky Rubio to the Utah Jazz in exchange for a 2018 first round pick (the pick was originally sent to the Jazz by the Oklahoma City Thunder and is top 14 protected; if it doesn’t convey by 2020 it turns into 2020 and 2021 second round picks).
The move frees up a significant amount of cap space for the Wolves, putting them a little over $32 million below the cap, according to Jeff Siegel of The Step Back (this also assumes they renounce Shabazz Muhammad and don’t bring back Brandon Rush).
With Rubio gone and no returning salary, Minnesota has a whole lot of money to spend this summer: pic.twitter.com/f02GyLFkwA
— Jeff Siegel (@jgsiegel) June 30, 2017
The Associated Press’ Jon Krawczynski reported in the immediate aftermath of the trade that Wolves’ owner Glen Taylor (who had been rather vocal as of late in his support for wanting Rubio to return) “had resisted trade proposals of [him] all week”, however, something must have changed his mind.
Sam Amick of USA Today and ESPN’s Zach Lowe, among others, have reported that former Indiana Pacer point guard Jeff Teague is the biggest name to watch as the team searches for Rubio’s replacement (Amick also mentioned that George Hill is now an option for the Wolves, but calls Teague the “heavy, heavy favorite). Krawczynski noted that former Los Angeles Clipper shooting guard JJ Redick is another name to watch as the Wolves explore the market with their newfound cap space.
Although rumors have been swirling seemingly forever, it is still shocking to know that Ricky Rubio will not be in a Minnesota Timberwolves jersey next season.