Ricky Rubio says Timberwolves GM Milt Newton told him the team “almost traded” him at the deadline but didn’t because the right offer didn’t come, but Newton dismissed that notion, saying the point guard might have misinterpreted their conversation, as both relayed in interviews with Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press. Reports indicated the Wolves engaged in trade talk regarding Rubio before the February deadline with the Bucks and, to a lesser degree, the Knicks. Milwaukee turned down an offer of Rubio and a protected 2016 first-round pick for Khris Middleton, while Minnesota rejected a counterproposal of Michael Carter-Williams for Rubio, according to Zach Lowe of ESPN.com.
“When the GM comes to you and says that’s what happened, it hurts, but you’ve got to be professional,” Rubio said. “You’ve been here all your career and thinking they were supporting you. At some point, they weren’t. But I’m professional. I’m going to give it my all. I love playing basketball and every time I step on the court I want to win.”
Newton told Krawczynski he would try to communicate more often with Rubio and said he’s already sought the point guard’s input on possible moves. The GM, to whom the Wolves have committed through at least the summer, called Rubio “extremely valuable to the organization,” as Krawczynski notes.
“I told him we’ve never, ever called another team to trade you, but it is my job to listen,” Newton said. “I even shared that with his agent. I never told him we almost traded you, because we didn’t almost trade him.”