02 July, 2017
The Jazz landed a new point guard in Ricky Rubio on Friday. Their trade for Jimmy Butler seemingly closed the door on Rubio's time in Minnesota, as starting three shaky perimeter shooters in Rubio (career 32% from deep), Butler (career 34%) and Andrew Wiggins (career 33%) was going to be untenable. 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. On the night of the 2017 NBA Draft, the Timberwolves acquired Jimmy Butler in a trade with the Chicago Bulls and sent Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn to Chicago. Opponents regularly help off Rubio, which clogs an offense's spacing, and Utah's offense thrives on the ability to space the floor. He's still a good National Basketball Association point guard with many excellent talents, but his inability to shoot ruled him out as the point guard leading Minnesota.
With that in mind, need number one for the Wolves would be to find better shooting out of the point guard spot. The deal was reported by the Associated Press just minutes after free agency's official 11 p.m. central start time.
The draft pick is the Thunder's 2018 first-round choice, acquired by Utah in the 2015 Enes Kanter trade, and is top 14 protected.
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Rubio's favorable contract may enable the Jazz to make more moves in free agency. Jeff Teague on the other hand ranked * a href="http://stats.nba.com/players/ball-handler/#!?CF=PlayerFirstName*E*jef" data-href="http://stats.nba.com/players/ball-handler/#!?CF=PlayerFirstName*E*jef" class="markup--anchor markup--p-anchor" rel="noopener" target="_blank" *in the 86th percentile as a ball handler, so Minnesota's offence could become even more deadly next year. Offensively, Rubio is one of the best passers in the league. The deal also includes a third-year player option.
Well, that and his $14 million per year salary, which obviously comes in significantly lower than the money Hill is seeking - expected to be in the neighborhood of $25-plus million per season. He also shot a career-best 40.2 percent from the field and had a PER of 16.87. By trading for Rubio early, Utah has mitigated the damage from its worst-case scenario-losing both Hayward and Hill-and improved its positioning for the Hayward derby. Currently, without G-Time and Ingles on the roster, Utah is on the books for roughly $78 million next season.
Despite pessimism on Twitter, there's obvious optimism within Jazz that acquiring Ricky Rubio bolsters their case to keep Gordon Hayward.