The Los Angeles Clippers are currently tied for second place in the Western Conference with an 11-4 record, but even with Kawhi Leonard and Paul George consistently putting up big numbers, there has been talk about how the team might need an upgrade at the point guard position. According to a recently proposed trade idea, the Clippers could make that upgrade by making a move for Minnesota Timberwolves veteran Ricky Rubio.
As explained on Friday by NBA Analysis Network, the Clippers could pull off the aforementioned move by sending three players — erstwhile starting point guard Patrick Beverley and reserve forwards Terrance Mann and Mfiondu Kabengele — to the Timberwolves in exchange for Rubio. This deal, as noted, might be a plausible one because of how No. 1 overall pick Anthony Edwards has looked like the "real deal," arguably making Rubio expendable, albeit useful for a team like the Clippers that is in need of additional playmaking.
"A platoon of [Lou] Williams and Rubio would benefit the Clippers, especially come playoff time. Rubio is a player who knows how to set his teammates up in position and is used to playing with other stars like Paul George and Kawhi Leonard."Furthermore, it was noted that Rubio could be a good fit in Los Angeles because he isn't a ball-dominant type of playmaker.
According to his Basketball-Reference player page, Rubio is presently producing career-lows in several categories and has started just three out of the 11 games he has played in so far for the 3-10 Timberwolves. As of this writing, he is averaging 6.3 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.4 assists, and 1.4 steals in only 24.5 minutes per game, and is shooting 38.1 percent from the field and 23.8 percent from beyond the arc. Last season with the Phoenix Suns, he averaged 13 points, 4.7 rebounds, 8.8 assists, and 1.4 steals.
Meanwhile, NBA Analysis Network wrote that the Timberwolves have been among the worst teams in the Western Conference for several years, even with the likes of Karl-Anthony Towns and D'Angelo Russell posting big numbers. While Rubio might not be good enough at this point in his career to warrant a first-round pick in the hypothetical deal, the publication explained that Mann and Kabengele are promising prospects who could help Minnesota rebuild for the future.
As for Beverley, the outlet speculated that the veteran is best suited for providing some "spark" off the bench, rather than being forced to start for a title-contending team. A three-time All-Defensive selection, the 32-year-old has averages of 8.6 points, 4.2 rebounds, and 2.1 assists in 14 games so far for the Clippers, per Basketball-Reference.