Derrick Rose traded to the Minnesota Timberwolves in a deal that would have Ricky Rubio traded to the New York Knicks has become a prevalent rumor as the NBA deadline quickly approaches. The exchange of starting point guards might seem surprising on the surface, but a deal between the Wolves and Knicks could work out very well for both franchises. One of the main reasons Minnesota has shown interest in Rose is that Wolves coach Tom Thibodeau coached the former MVP point guard with the Chicago Bulls.
A fresh report by the New York Post investigates the Knicks trade rumors and gives some insight as to why the Timberwolves would agree to a deal like this one. On the surface, a struggling team like the Wolves making a trade to acquire an expensive veteran point guard might not make a lot of sense. But it’s possible the team would want to re-sign Rose in free agency and get out of the long-term contract that Rubio is still playing under.
The Chicago Bulls traded Derrick Rose to the New York Knicks during the past NBA offseason, going instead with free agents Dwyane Wade and Rajon Rondo at the guard positions. The Knicks made the deal in the hope that Rose could team up with Carmelo Anthony and finally get the Knicks back to the postseason. It has not worked out well, but Rose has still averaged 17.7 points, 4.5 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game in the final year of his current deal. He makes roughly $21.4 million for the 2016-17 NBA season.
Rubio is under contract through the 2018-19 NBA season, with all his three years fully guaranteed. He makes $13.55 million this season, $14.25 million next year, and then $14.8 million the following season. This would be an expensive transaction for the Knicks to absorb, but he might be the type of point guard that Phil Jackson has been looking to acquire.
In 51 games so far this season, Ricky Rubio is averaging 8.9 points, 8.4 assists, 3.8 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per game. This is his sixth NBA season with the Minnesota Timberwolves, never having experienced the NBA Playoffs during his time with the team. That could mean that he has the right temperament to put up with a Knicks franchise that may be going into a rebuilding effort of its own.
The New York Post also points out how well Rubio could work with the locker room in New York, as he is very familiar with some of the other European-born players on the roster.
“Rubio would fit in well in the Knicks’ locker room. Rookie center Willy Hernangomez, who played with Rubio on the Spanish Olympic Team in August, went to Mexico with his brother and hung out with Rubio over All-Star Weekend. Hernangomez played in the Rising Stars Challenge on Friday in New Orleans before departing for Mexico.”
Though it might be an unorthodox move for two non-playoff teams to take part in a blockbuster deal before the NBA trade deadline, these rumors present something that could work for each franchise. Having Ricky Rubio traded to the New York Knicks would free up a lot of future salary for the Minnesota Timberwolves, giving the team an opportunity to add other pieces in free agency. It could also give the team enough money to offer Derrick Rose a new contract in the NBA offseason.
So could a deal get worked out between the Knicks and Timberwolves in the next 24 hours? If the Knicks were to include a future draft pick with Rose, it would be even easier for the Wolves to part with Rubio. Adding Rubio to the current roster while only subtracting Rose could be a huge step in the right direction for team president Phil Jackson. But is Jackson ready to admit that his roster experiments haven’t turned out as advertised? Is a Derrick Rose trade his first step toward getting fired by the owner?
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