The latest buzz from the NBA trade rumor mill puts the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons together in a potential point guard swap. If something takes place between the Timberwolves and Pistons it could symbol a do-over for both teams.
ESPN’s Marc Stein and Chris Haynes are reporting that the Timberwolves and Pistons have contacted each other regarding a trade. According to what they have learned, the Timberwolves and Pistons are discussing a trade that would have Ricky Rubio and Reggie Jackson switch jerseys.
The ESPN report about the Timberwolves and Pistons discussions suggest that nothing is eminent, but the NBA trade rumors are now circulating. Will something happen between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons soon? If so, it could be another risk for both teams.
Both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons took chances on complete opposite types of point guards. Ricky Rubio and Reggie Jackson were also acquired in two different ways.
The Minnesota Timberwolves took Ricky Rubio No. 5 in the 2009 NBA draft. Rubio was billed as a young and flashy passer, with a ton of professional experience in Spain. It was reported that Rubio was not too enamored with the idea of playing for the Timberwolves. Contract negotiations took two years (courtesy of ESPN), and he eventually resisted holding out for a trade to a larger NBA market. Mixed results have followed.
Rubio has struggled to develop a consistent jumper over the years. Now it appears that his days with the Minnesota Timberwolves are just about over.
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) January 21, 2017
Reggie Jackson, formerly of the Oklahoma City Thunder, was acquired by the Detroit Pistons in a three-team deal (courtesy of Yahoo Sports) just before the 2015 trade deadline. Jackson was a primary piece in the trade, along with Enes Kanter, who went to the Thunder.
When the Pistons first added Reggie Jackson it was viewed as a risky move, but one that could have a potentially high payoff. It must have been the understanding by the Pistons that Jackson was a shoot-first guard stuck playing behind Russell Westbrook. If he were to wind up on another team, the desire to score at will was guaranteed to come out. How the Pistons’ roster is constructed, that is not the type of point guard they need.
The Detroit Pistons made the NBA playoffs as an eighth seed last season with Jackson as their point guard. Expectations of growth and improvement was supposed to be the case this year. Regression has become the story.
Reggie Jackson is talented, but he is not an ideal point guard for the Detroit Pistons. Neither is Ricky Rubio. A swap of guards between the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons is one which makes little sense.
The Timberwolves need an older veteran to help Kris Dunn go through his NBA growing pains. That veteran player must be defensive-minded and think pass-first.
It is curious to learn about the Timberwolves’ reported interest in Reggie Jackson because he does not check the boxes in either category. Where Jackson would help the Timberwolves is with his ability to score, although it cannot come at the expense of Karl-Anthony Towns, Andrew Wiggins, and Zach LaVine. And it cannot be allowed to stump the progress of Kris Dunn.
Ironically, Rubio is the best option of the two for the Minnesota Timberwolves at this moment. Is he the perfect bridge for Dunn, no. Veteran guards Deron Williams, D.J. Augustin, and Rajon Rondo are better options for the Timberwolves.
Conversely, Ricky Rubio would be a good pickup for the Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons’ roster is built with a scoring by committee style. On some nights the leading scorer could be Andre Drummond, or Tobias Harris, even Kentavious Caldwell-Pope. The Pistons are a team that needs a point guard to come in and help the others flourish. One which is good at playing pick and roll basketball.
Reggie Jackson, while a solid pick and roll player, is more likely to shoot off the screen than pass. For Ricky Rubio, it is the opposite.
The odds of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Detroit Pistons completing a Ricky Rubio for Reggie Jackson swap are 50-50. If this were to turn into a larger trade involving a third team joining the talks with the Timberwolves and Pistons, those chances would increase. Ricky Rubio is the perfect type of guard for the Detroit Pistons. The same cannot be said about Reggie Jackson if he were bound for the Minnesota Timberwolves.
A third team such as the Philadelphia 76ers or Sacramento Kings joining this trade could take on Jackson. That team could offer the Minnesota Timberwolves something where an even trade can take place.
[Featured Image by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images]