Ricky Rubio will start the season with the Timberwolves, but may be in Sacramento before it ends, according to Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News in Minneapolis. Speaking on an ESPN podcast, Wolfson said the Kings are a team to watch if Minnesota decides to part ways with the Spanish point guard. Trade speculation involving Rubio intensified when the Wolves drafted Kris Dunn of Providence with the No. 5 pick, after adding Tyus Jones through the draft last year. Rubio has three seasons and more than $42MM left on his contract. There has been talk that the Wolves and Kings might agree on a swap involving Rubio and swingman Rudy Gay.
There’s more from the Northwest Division:
- Thunder shooting guard Anthony Morrow said he understands Kevin Durant‘s decision to leave Oklahoma City to join the Warriors, relays Erik Horne of The Oklahoman. Some teammates have reacted angrily over Durant’s move, but Morrow, in a recent appearance on Sirius XM NBA radio, said he never had any feelings of betrayal. “It’s business,” Morrow said. “It’s basketball. That’s that man’s career. That’s that man’s life and he made his own decision as a man. Hate it or love it, he made his decision.”
- The Thunder used cap space, not their room exception, to sign veteran point guard Ronnie Price, tweets Eric Pincus of Basketball Insiders. Oklahoma City still has $2.3MM remaining under the cap, along with its room exception.
- Nuggets coach Michael Malone doesn’t admit to harboring bitterness over his firing by Sacramento, but USA Today’s A.J. Neuharth-Keusch writes that he has cut the Kings’ dominant color out of his wardrobe. “I have not [worn purple since the firing],” Malone said during an appearance on an ESPN podcast. “And what I really love about that is I haven’t, it’s my wife’s favorite color, she hasn’t, and my daughters haven’t. It’s almost become taboo, forbidden in our household.”