4:22pm: The Jazz are able to absorb Rubio’s $13.6MM contract today, but only today. As of tomorrow, the official start of the 2017/18 campaign, a Rudy Gobert raise coupled with some cap holds would push Utah’s payroll higher.
4:05pm: Jody Genessey of the Deseret News has relayed a report from Zone Sports Networks’ Spencer Checketts that Utah will send Oklahoma City’s first-round pick to Minnesota in exchange for Rubio.
4:00pm: Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune tweets that the Rubio trade “is happening”, noting that the deal is close to being done. It hasn’t, however, been formally confirmed yet.
It’s unclear what would be heading back to Minnesota in the exchange but the news that Rubio could be on the move isn’t exactly groundbreaking. Despite the fact that the Timberwolves have already traded away two point guards this month, Rubio’s name has been a mainstay in trade rumors since the Wolves drafted Kris Dunn last June.
Much can and has been inferred from the news of these ongoing Rubio negotiations. Zach Lowe of ESPN tweets that this could mean George Hill will be unlikely to return to Utah. If nothing else, he adds, it will give the team leverage in contract negotiations with the 31-year-old.
The deal also lends credence to a theory that the Timberwolves could be serious contenders to pursue Kyle Lowry. Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post echoed the sentiments of The Athletic’s Eric Koreen suggesting as much shortly after the negotiations were made public.