Timberwolves GM Milt Newton poured cold water on persistent Ricky Rubio trade rumors, telling Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press that the front office is “not talking to anybody about trading Ricky” and that the team expects the point guard to play an integral role.
“He’s one of the best facilitators in the NBA,” Newton said. “We’ve got a young team of guys that are athletic, that are going to get up and down. And we’re going to utilize those talents that they have. Who better than Ricky to be the one leading the charge, pushing the pace, pushing the ball and getting our guys easy opportunities and getting the ball where they can be their best? We’re looking to him to be that person.”
Bleacher Report’s Ric Bucher said earlier this month that the Wolves had lost faith in Rubio and had gauged the market for him, though Bucher added that he heard trade talks weren’t ongoing. Since then, Newton assumed control of the front office from the ailing Flip Saunders, who’s on a leave of absence as he recovers from cancer treatments. See more from the Northwest Division:
- Thunder GM Sam Presti said this week that he didn’t have any influence in Billy Donovan‘s assistant coaching hires, moves that complement the first-year NBA head coach with veterans Monty Williams and Maurice Cheeks, as The Oklahoman’s Berry Tramel details. “Billy, great quality about him, he did not know Monty, and he did not know Maurice Cheeks,” Presti said. “He interviewed those guys. He really liked them. He felt like they could help. He was totally aligned with our vision for an organization. One of the things that make him able to do that, he naturally and intrinsically gravitates to those kinds of people. Those guys have been great together. We’re grateful those guys were willing to jump in. Both those guys have accomplished a lot.”
- The Trail Blazers had no reason to pay a premium to retain Wesley Matthews once LaMarcus Aldridge left, given Matthews’ torn Achilles and the rebuilding phase that Portland is entering, contends Shaun Powell of NBA.com in his review of the team’s offseason. Jabari Young of Comcast SportsNet Northwest presented a different take on that in our latest installment of The Beat.
- The max deal Matthews signed with the Mavs appears on the list of the five worst contracts for the future that Ben Rohrbach of Yahoo Sports compiled. Also on the list is Enes Kanter, who signed an offer sheet with the Blazers that the Thunder matched, and former Thunder point guard Reggie Jackson, now on a five-year, $80MM deal with the Pistons.