Pau Gasol had an excellent career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and now they could be trying to acquire one of his countrymen.
Adrian Wojnarowski said Saturday on ESPN’s “Woj & Lowe Free Agency Special” that veteran guard Ricky Rubio may be an option for the Lakers if they lose Dennis Schroder in free agency, per Dunking With Wolves.
Rubio, who is still only 30, averaged 8.6 points and 6.4 assists per game last season for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He has failed to find a home over the last few seasons, making four different stops since 2017.
Granted, Rubio is under contract for $17.8 million next year. That means the Lakers would have to work a trade for him. His shaky outside shooting may not make him the best fit either next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.
But we know the Lakers are interested in bringing in another playmaker. On an expiring contract, Rubio could be a very attainable option for them.
Anthony Edwards is slowly starting to live up his billing as a No. 1 overall pick, and one of his teammates wants to make sure he develops properly.
Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio spoke Friday on his rookie teammate and seemed to express concern about how the team’s situation could ultimately impact Edwards.
“I’ve said it from Day One: I think we have a gem here,” said Rubio, per team writer Dane Moore. “We have something. He’s going to be really good in this league. But there’s been a lot of good players who didn’t make it because they get lost in the situation they were in at the beginning. I’m trying to help him to really get where he can be without getting lost in everything that’s going on.”
It is hard not to interpret Rubio’s comments here as a dig at the team. He has already taken multiple shots this season at Minnesota’s culture. That includes when Rubio recently voiced skepticism at their long-term plans.
Rubio was himself drafted by Minnesota at No. 5 overall in 2009. He is also now in his seventh season with the team spanning two separate stints. Thus, Rubio knows the Wolves like very few others do.
The team has endured a lot of turmoil this year, including an NBA-worst 8-29 record and a head coaching change on top of that. It remains to be seen if Edwards, who is up to 15.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game this season, will have what he needs to thrive in Minnesota for the long run.
Ricky Rubio’s second tour of duty with the Minnesota Timberwolves clearly has not been the jam.
The veteran guard had some more harsh words for the team after a blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.
“We have to build good habits from day one, and I don’t think we are in the right way, to be honest,” said Rubio, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “I can be here and be positive like we’re trying to be and it’s OK. But we have the worst record in the league. We lost way too many games by 20-plus.
“I don’t feel like this is building something,” he added. “It’s hard. You always have to take positive things. Of course, we want to get better. But at some point we got to start wanting to change something, and it’s not happening.”
Not much has changed for the NBA-worst Wolves since they fired head coach Ryan Saunders and replaced him with Chris Finch. In fact, their nosedive continues, having lost all four of their games since Finch took over. It is true that the team has been decimated by injuries and COVID cases this year. But with so many young ex-lottery picks on the roster (including Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, D’Angelo Russell, and Jarrett Culver), you would expect Minnesota to be performing a lot better right now.
Rubio already expressed similar frustrations earlier this season. That makes it seem like there are deeper fundamental issues plaguing the organization.
Photo: Joe Bielawa/Flickr via CC-BY 2.0
Ricky Rubio is standing up for one of his former teammates.
The Utah Jazz defeated the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday by a 129-118 final. After the contest, Donovan Mitchell gave an interview to TNT’s “Inside the NBA” and received a criticism from Shaquille O’Neal. O’Neal claimed that Mitchell does not have “what it takes to get to the next level.”
Rubio tweeted his thoughts about O’Neal’s comment on Friday.
“Come on. Stop hating,” wrote Rubio. “He HAS it. Just go and watch his first playoff series as a rookie. Game 6. Last year playoff etc… hard worker, never says anything wrong, all heart, elite scorer, humble, great teammate and he just keeps getting better year after year.”
Rubio and Mitchell were teammates on the Jazz for two seasons from 2017 to 2019. The team reached the 48-win plateau and earned a top-five seed in the Western Conference in both years. The Jazz have also been a playoff team in every single season since Mitchell, still only 24, was drafted.
Granted, O’Neal is known for taking very petty shots at today’s stars. But his act certainly seems to be wearing thin among the league’s current players.
Ricky Rubio’s second stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves has been far from a happy homecoming to start.
The Wolves got blown out by the LA Clippers on Tuesday by the final of 124-101. The drubbing came after another lopsided 127-91 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. After Tuesday’s defeat, Rubio did not hold back about the team’s play.
“When things weren’t going our way, everybody goes playing selfish,” Rubio said, per Jace Frederick of the Pioneer Press. “We have to learn. There’s a lot of excuses. We’re young, blah, blah, blah, this and that, but once you step on the court, you’re playing for an NBA team, and the last two games, it’s been ridiculously bad.
“I don’t know if it’s because there’s no fans and the situation we live in right now, but that can’t continue,” added Rubio. “We gotta do something about it … We have to show some pride. There’s things we can’t accept and one of them is [that] we can lose games in this league. There’s a lot of guys who can compete and beat you. But we can’t lose the way we did the last two games.”
Rubio, 30, arrived in Minnesota this past offseason for his second stint with the team after playing the first six seasons of his NBA career with them. The T-Wolves have a completely new group now though, as the only teammate left from Rubio’s first stint is Karl-Anthony Towns, who did not play in either of the blowouts due to a dislocated wrist.
The Timberwolves did win their first two games of the season, so they are still 2-2 despite the rough patch. But Rubio is far from the first veteran to call out the team for cultural issues.
Photo: Joe Bielawa/Flickr via CC-BY 2.0
Ricky Rubio does not appear to be too happy about being traded for the second time in the last three years.
The Phoenix Suns veteran guard was dealt to the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday as part of a package for former All-Star Chris Paul. Rubio tweeted a reaction soon after, writing “what a business” with an upside-down smile.
Rubio, 30, signed a three-year deal with the Suns only last offseason. That means that he cannot become a free agent until after the 2021-22 season.
The Spanish star is a fine player, but Paul is simply a better one. Thus, you can’t really blame the Suns for pulling the trigger on the deal. It is still an unfortunate development for Rubio though, especially given that his last NBA stop ended on some bad terms as well.
Ricky Rubio and Donovan Mitchell may have been teammates during the NBA season, but during international play, it is definitely no holds barred.
After Mitchell and Team USA narrowly escaped defeat at the hands of Turkey in a 93-92 overtime thriller on Tuesday, the Utah Jazz star got a funny text from his former backcourt partner Rubio, who plays for the Spanish team.
“Welcome to FIBA,” Rubio’s text read, per John Schuhmann of NBA.com.
Tuesday’s group stage game against Turkey was notably physical, as international play often is. Rubio, meanwhile, was born into the fire, dishing out dimes for Spain in FIBA competition starting when he was just a teenager.
As for Team USA, they look uncharacteristically beatable at this year’s World Cup, and Rubio and his other countrymen seem to be enjoying it.
The Phoenix Suns entered the offseason in desperate need of a point guard, and they wasted no time finding one when they signed Ricky Rubio to a contract at the the start of free agency.
Shams Charania of The Athletic reports that Rubio will sign a three-year, $51 million deal with the Suns.
That seems like a lot of money for a player who has averaged 11.1 points and 7.7 assists per game during his eight-year NBA career, but Phoenix obviously feels the 28-year-old still has plenty left to offer. Rubio had also been linked to the Indiana Pacers throughout the offseason, but they opted to go with a cheaper guard option in Jeremy Lamb.
Indiana also acquired Malcolm Brogdon in a trade with Milwaukee.
Rubio spent the last two seasons with the Utah Jazz, and he said a few weeks ago that they had let him know where he stood. He should be very pleased with the contract he got from the Suns.
Ricky Rubio’s time with the Utah Jazz appears to be coming to a close.
The veteran point guard told Spanish journalist Ernest Macia that he has been informed by the team that he is “not a priority for them” as he prepares to hit free agency.
“Utah has already let me know I’m not a priority for them,” Rubio said, as translated by Nicola Lupo of Sportando.
Rubio started 67 games for the Jazz last season, but saw his minutes per game drop to a career-low 27.9 per game. His name reportedly came up in trade talks as Utah tried to find a more permanent solution at the point guard position at last year’s trade deadline. That process appears ready to intensify if the Jazz are preparing to let Rubio walk, which will leave a big spot to fill.
The Memphis Grizzlies are open to trading franchise stars Marc Gasol and Mike Conley as they prepare for a full-scale rebuild, and they have reportedly had discussions about the latter with at least one team.
According to Marc Stein of the New York Times, the Grizzlies have had talks with the Utah Jazz about a possible trade that would see Conley and fellow point guard Ricky Rubio swap teams.
However, Stein notes that Conley’s contract could make a deal difficult, as he is owed $66 million over the next two seasons and Rubio only has $15 million remaining on his expiring contract.
Conley, who appeared in just 12 games last season before undergoing heel surgery, is having a good year and looks healthy. He is averaging 20.2 points per game, which is just shy of his career high of 20.5 two seasons ago. Rubio is averaging 12.8 points and 6.1 assists per game, and Conley would be an upgrade for a Jazz team that is 29-23 and in position to make the playoffs.
Both Conley and Gasol have made their feelings clear about the current state of the Grizzlies, and it makes sense for the team to explore trade options. Memphis is currently 14th in the Western Conference with a record of 20-32 after winning just 22 games and missing the playoffs last season.