The New York Knicks are entering the day with Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio listed as a significant trade target, reports The Vertical’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Another report around the league is that the Knicks remain motivated to trade Derrick Rose, and under the NBA’s trade rules the Timberwolves and Knicks would be able to swap Rubio for Rose straight up. Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported yesterday that New York is seeking a first-round pick to trade Kyle O’Quinn, but the rest of the league is under the impression that the Knicks won’t need a draft pick for Rose.
(READ: 2017 NBA Trade Deadline Tracker)
It appears that the Timberwolves are wanting to clear the way for young guards Tyus Jones and Kris Dunn to potentially earn more playing time by dealing Rubio, but Rubio’s long history with injuries could scare away teams from pulling the trigger on the Spaniard guard.
After this season, Rubio is signed for two more seasons at a $14.1 million price tag next season, and then a $14.8 million in 2018-2019. He is currently the highest paid player on the Timberwolves roster, and trading him away would free up cap space for the team to extend Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, and Karl Anthony-Towns long-term in the coming seasons.
Going back to the potential Rubio for Rose swap, Rose is an impending free agent this off-season, and the Knicks likely want Rubio for at least a long-term solution at backup point guard at the very least. Their current backup, Brandon Jennings is also an impending free agent this summer, and the Knicks could benefit in the long-run in this swap more than Minnesota.
Rubio is averaging 8.9 points, 8.4 assists, and 3.8 rebounds per game this season.
For the latest NBA rumors ahead of the 3 p.m. eastern standard time trade deadline, click here.
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