The Timberwolves are “actively shopping” point guard Ricky Rubio in trade discussions, league sources tell Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. According to Wojnarowski, Minnesota has attached Rubio to Shabazz Muhammad in trade offers to several NBA teams.
Rubio, who is under contract through 2018/19 and will earn $14MM+ in each of the next two years, has been viewed as a potential trade candidate since the Wolves selected Kris Dunn with the fifth overall pick last June. According to Wojnarowski, the Wolves have been seeking a sort of “bridge” guard in their trade discussions — such a player would be capable of starting in the short term before eventually giving way to Dunn.
[RELATED: Trade Candidate: Ricky Rubio]
The Kings have “a strong interest” in landing Rubio, but there’s currently no movement toward a deal between those teams, league sources tell Wojnarowski. According to The Vertical’s report, the Wolves are making an effort to exhaust the market in search of an offer stronger than what Sacramento could put on the table.
Minnesota is currently well below the salary cap, as our 2016/17 Salary Cap Snapshot shows, and moving Rubio could free up even more future cap room. However, the Wolves value him and won’t give him away unless they’re getting solid value in return, as Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press and Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News observe (Twitter links).
Rubio, 26, got off to a poor start this season, slowed by an elbow injury, but he has been thriving for the Wolves over the last couple weeks. In his last five games, the Spaniard has averaged 11.4 PPG, 12.6 APG, and 2.6 SPG, improving his full-season averages to 7.6 PPG, 7.9 APG, and 1.9 SPG.