The Pacers have their eye on Ricky Rubio with free agency around the corner, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who hears from multiple league sources that the veteran point guard will be one of Indiana’s top targets.
Rubio, 28, is headed for the open market this summer after averaging 12.9 PPG, 5.7 APG, and 4.1 RPG on .412/.332/.861 shooting in two seasons with the Jazz. The Spaniard hinted earlier this month that a return to Utah may not be in the cards, as the Jazz are considering other point guard options.
The Pacers may have bigger-name point guards on their offseason wish list as well, having been linked to trade candidate Mike Conley and restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell, among others. But O’Connor suggests that Indiana views Rubio as a good potential fit, since his play-making abilities would complement Victor Oladipo‘s score-first playing style. Rubio would also be a defensive upgrade on point guards Darren Collison and Cory Joseph, both of whom will be free agents this summer.
League sources tell O’Connor that the Pacers have also explored the possibility of making a trade with the Pelicans for the No. 4 overall pick. New Orleans is reportedly open to either a pick-based or player-based package in exchange for that selection, O’Connor notes.
While O’Connor doesn’t provide any additional details on what picks or players the Pelicans and Pacers might have discussed, it wouldn’t surprise me if New Orleans has kicked the tires on one or both of Indiana’s promising young bigs, Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis.
It remains to be seen whether the Pacers are fully committed to having Turner and Sabonis share the frontcourt in the long term. The Pelicans, meanwhile, could be on the lookout for a center to complement presumed No. 1 pick Zion Williamson. Again though, that’s just my speculation.