According to reports, the Minnesota Timberwolves have traded point guard Ricky Rubio to the Utah Jazz for a 2018 first-round pick (originally belonging to the Oklahoma City Thunder, acquired as part of the Enes Kanter trade).
ESPN’s Marc Stein tweeted out the details of the trade, citing the Salt Lake City Tribune‘s Tony Jones:
I'm told Minnesota will be get a 2018 first-round pound to trade Ricky Rubio into Utah cap space. @tribjazz first to report deal happening
Minnesota Timberwolves Trade Ricky Rubio to Utah Jazz
Timberwolves’ Point of View
After several failed attempts, the Minnesota Timberwolves finally traded Rubio to the Jazz for a protected 2018 first-round draft pick.
Timberwolves President and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau graciously thanked Rubio for his time with the team. “Ricky has been a consummate professional over my time in Minnesota and has done tremendous things in the community,” Thibodeau said. “We appreciate all he’s done for the organization and wish him the best of luck in Utah.”
This trade has repercussions on the free agency market, as the Timberwolves need to sign a point guard. Less than a week ago, the Timberwolves traded Kris Dunn and Zach LaVine (both of whom played at least some minutes at point guard) to the Chicago Bulls as part of the Jimmy Butler deal. This trade most significantly leaves the Timberwolves with an estimated $32 million in salary cap space entering free agency.
According to Stein, the New York Knicks are convinced that point guard Jeff Teague is already committed to signing with Minnesota in free agency:
The Knicks have abandoned their hopes of meeting with Jeff Teague, league sources say, convinced Teague has already committed to Minnesota
Welcome to Utah, @rickyrubio9!!
In Rubio, the Jazz acquired a creative point guard with six seasons of NBA experience. Rubio is a pass-first playmaker, which will help him fit perfectly with the Jazz’s offensive philosophy. He is also an elite defender. With Rubio’s salary for the 2017-18 season of just $14 million, the Jazz must consider it a bargain compared to what incumbent free agent starter George Hill would demand. Consequently, this means that Hill is most likely on the move again after just one season in Utah.
NBA free agency officially commences July 1 at midnight.
DENVER, CO – DECEMBER 28: Ricky Rubio (9) of the Minnesota Timberwolves reacts to a foul by teammate Gorgui Dieng (5) against the Denver Nuggets during the second half of the Nuggets’ 105-103 win. The Denver Nuggets hosted the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday, December 28, 2016. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post via Getty Images)