Timberwolves, Pistons Have Discussed Rubio, Jackson

The Timberwolves and Pistons have discussed a point guard swap of Ricky Rubio and Reggie Jackson, Marc Stein of ESPN reports. Nothing is imminent, as each team is in the “talking stage,” and as Stein notes, any deal would expand to involve other players, such as Shabazz Muhammad.

While the Timberwolves have reportedly been actively shopping Rubio, the Pistons have contended that Jackson wouldn’t be available via trade, though rival clubs aren’t so convinced. Both players have multiple years left on long-term deals, but could be available in the next month for different reasons. Jackson and the Pistons have struggled this year, and in their ESPN report, Stein and Haynes note that rookie Kris Dunn is regarded as Minnesota’s “point guard of the future,” making Rubio expendable.

The 26-year-old Rubio has averaged 7.7 points with 7.9 assists in his sixth NBA season. The Spaniard missed a five-game stretch in November due to an elbow injury, but has otherwise remained healthy in 2016/17. Now in the second year of a four-year, $55MM contract, Rubio has a cap hit of $13,400,000.

On the heels of a breakout 2015/16 campaign, Jackson’s statistics have slightly regressed this season; averaging 16.7 points with 5.3 assists through 23 games. The 26-year-old Jackson missed the season’s first 21 games with left knee tendinitis, but has come on strong of late; scoring 20.2 points on 46.4% shooting over his last 10 games.

If the Timberwolves are seeking a “bridge” guard to assume starting duties until Dunn is ready, as has been reported, Jackson would be a peculiar choice for a few reasons. Jackson is slated to make $16MM, $17MM+, and $18MM+ over the next three seasons, making him an expensive option to bridge the gap at point guard. What’s more, the role of (eventually) backing up Dunn may not come naturally to Jackson, who hasn’t played in a reserve role since 2012/13 with the Thunder.

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14 thoughts on “Timberwolves, Pistons Have Discussed Rubio, Jackson

  1. As a Wolves fan, I’m very intrigued. Getting Jackson in return would be an upgrade as to what they need from their PG; and if Shabazz was dealt, you’d likely see LaVine take on the 6th man role with Rush starting at shooting guard.

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    • You don’t want lavine as 6th man though. His stats are so much better when he starts next to a pg who does most of the ball handling. This deal doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for either team. It’s kind of frustrating. The wolves don’t really need their pg to score. I get that they atleast need him to be a threat, but Ricky still fits so much better with the wolves and I don’t see him working well at all with the Pistons.

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  2. WolfPack

    What benefit is Jackson over Rubio? Don’t get this trade for Wolves. Bring in a PG under a longer contract when Dunn is the “future”??

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    • rxbrgr

      He’d be a good fit for the Jamal Crawford-type 6th man role, similar to his early years in OKC.

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      • But what makes you think Jackson would be ok with that? That’s why he wanted out of okc in the first place.

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    • Last year Reggie Jackson was the spark plug of the team averaging 18.8 and this year 16.7 not to mention he is an 86% free throw shooter. Rubio is a 9.8 points a game and an 82% free throw shooter. Only thing Rubio has better is assist but you other players have to make the shot to get an assist.

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  3. thegoat2531

    What are the Pistons thinking…?

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  4. spartyon

    I don’t get this for either team. For the Wolves you are just preventing Dunn from starting for a longer period of time. For the Pistons why would they bring in a poor shooter. It goes completely against SVGs system. Also it’s not as if Rubio would be surrounded by elite shooters.

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  5. Kirby Buckets

    This makes no sense unless they plan on flipping Jackson for something else. Dunn and Tyus both need minutes. The young core would hate playing with Jackson.

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    • WolfPack

      Agreed. I’d love to see Dunn and Tyus get more run. Dump Bazz and get Rush into the rotation while they’re at it.

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    • Yes. So much yes.

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  6. Z-A

    This trade does not make sense. I mean the wolves have been sour on Rubio for a while. They traded for Tyus Jones and then drafted Kris Dunn. They probably didn’t expect Dunn to be there… but they could have drafted Chriss if they had confidence in Rubio.

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    • Dunn had so much more promise at draft time though. Best player available. They traded for tyus to be the backup, which I honestly think he deserves. But that means Dunn or Ricky needs to go. Ricky is the odd man out, but I think they should atleast play this year out before they trade him since Dunn hasn’t done shit.

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  7. MiggyCabby24

    Don’t understand this deal at all. This goes totally against what SVG is trying to build in Detroit, similar to his Orlando teams. He needs shooters to surround Drummond. Rubio is not a shooter, and Reggie has been inconsistent this year. And where does Reggie go, to the bench? He won’t like that, he thinks he’s a starter now, and he would block Dunn from being the starter. Bad move if you ask me.

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