After several years of missing the playoffs with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Ricky Rubio was traded to the Utah Jazz in the summer of 2017, where he has since played in two postseasons, albeit with his team getting eliminated in the first round on both occasions. Although Jazz executive vice president of basketball operations Dennis Lindsey recently expressed confidence in re-signing Rubio as a free agent this summer, the Spanish point guard claimed in a recent interview that Utah doesn’t exactly see him as a top priority going forward.
On Monday, The Salt Lake Tribune quoted Rubio’s recent interview with Catalunya Radio, where the 28-year-old Jazz standout claimed to have been informed by Jazz officials that he is “not priority number one” in the offseason. As noted by the publication, Rubio’s comments about Utah seemingly wanting to move on from him back up earlier rumors that suggested the Jazz are planning to find another point guard in the offseason as they try to make more headway in the competitive Western Conference.
The Salt Lake Tribune also quoted remarks Rubio made to Salt Lake City media, where he talked about how he plans to approach his incoming free agency this summer.
“When free agency comes, now that the season is over, I can start thinking and see where I want to go, where I can go. But one thing I’m gonna look [at] for sure is the best situation for me, with the coach and the team. … I want to be happy. I’m gonna try to find the best situation for me to perform and be happy.”
— HoopsHype (@hoopshype) June 3, 2019
Per CBS Sports, the Jazz’s Lindsey previously said that there are “a lot of scenarios” where the team could re-sign Rubio, who averaged 12.7 points, 3.6 rebounds, 6.7 assists, and 1.3 steals for Utah in the 2018-19 season.
Should the Jazz let Ricky Rubio sign with another team, the man most consistently mentioned as his potential heir apparent at point guard has been longtime Memphis Grizzlies star Mike Conley. As reported by Yahoo Sports, the Grizzlies are expected to use their No. 2 pick in the 2019 NBA Draft on Murray State point guard Ja Morant, which could allow a number of teams — including the Utah Jazz and Miami Heat — to make offers for the veteran Conley.
While Conley averaged a career-high 21.1 points and added 6.4 assists per game last season, Yahoo Sports cautioned that the 31-year-old guard may be difficult to trade, as he still has two years and $67 million remaining on his current contract.