Pacers Eyeing Ricky Rubio, Have Discussed No. 4 Pick

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.

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23 thoughts on “Pacers Eyeing Ricky Rubio, Have Discussed No. 4 Pick

    • KnicksFanCavsFan

      Yeah but how does Russell, who’s spent his career in the two biggest markets, feel about Indiana? Would not be shocked if the Lakers came knocking.

    • Curtisrowe

      Well, yeah, but Russell is going to cost. 2.5 times as much. It isn’ Russell vs. Rubio. It’s Russell vs. Rubio and another quality player or two.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Why? Russell needs the ball in his hands. Rubio is a playmaker.

      With Oladipo on the roster, I’d much rather have a team first PG like Rubio than a “give me the ball and I’ll make something happen” guy like Russell.

      Not to mention, Rubio’s a *much* better defender, and Indiana is a defensive minded team.

      • formerlyz

        Rubio cant shoot. On a team with shooters, that’s fine, but Indiana needs to space the floor for Oladipo as well. He has shot the ball well these last couple of years, but that isnt exactly a strong suit for him

        • Jason Lancaster

          Utah doesn’t have shooters and they were a great team three years running with Rubio at the point.

          I agree Rubio would be better if he was a better shooter. But he’s a skilled player in every other part of the game, and he feeds the team good looks. He’s a solid option for Indiana, assuming they don’t make another deal.

          • i like rubio.his passing is wow..and good defender too.i want my bulls sign him.bulls already had 3 good shooter in zach,lauri, and opj.so bulls dont need another shooter.hope garpax offer him a contract but i doubt it.

          • formerlyz

            Utah was better with Mitchell at the PG, with Royce O’neal, Crowder, and Ingles next to him. I didnt say Rubio isnt a good player. I just think he fits better on Phoenix

            • Alphabet Street

              Rubio has an on/off of +20.2 in his 11 playoff games for Utah (tiny sample size, but that’s ridiculously high) & he and Mitchell played really well together vs. OKC last year, when both put up big #s in the opening series win. It’s a moot point now, but I don’t think they were better with Mitchell at PG.

              I also don’t think they’re better off with Conley at PG instead of Rubio. They put together 48 & 50-win seasons with a fairly young team. Another step up to 55-to-60 wins per year & they would have been contenders. I think that step likely would have happened either this year or the next, simply via the core getting more experience together.

              No way to know now, but just seems to me like they jumped the gun. Rubio has always had impact way beyond his box-score stats (which are actually better than they seem at a glance, as Snyder only played him 28 mpg last year… his per 36 stats were 16-5-8-2) & Crowder was an underrated player with real positive impact for them, as well.

        • Alphabet Street

          Out of Indy’s top 9 players in minutes per game, only Cory Joseph (.322) shot under 34% on threes last year. I suppose if Bogdanovic signs elsewhere and Rubio replaces Collison, we’ll have to see what their lineup ends up like, but last year’s team had plenty of shooting.

          Also, Rubio has improved his shooting to be good enough so the other team can’t just leave him open. After a slow start his first season in Utah, he’s been 35% on threes for the last year and a half (since January 2018). And his % on open threes is almost surely at least a couple % higher, since PGs get stuck with forced shots late in the clock sometimes.

          That’s nothing to write home about, but it forces Rubio’s man to defend him normally at the 3-point-line, which means the court opens up & he has room to make plays. Unless a team has really bad shooting next to him, he’s at least a good enough shooter to keep his shooting from being a problem. Of course, he’s an elite defender and playmaker, so as long as his shooting remains serviceable, he should make a positive impact.

  1. Z-A

    Turner is more appealing… you know what he is, he can shoot from range, and you know what hell be paid.

  2. I like the Rubio fit. Pacers have always been more of an 04 pistons team than a team of stars. I don’t expect DLo to take jump at the pacers money and Rubio would be a good mentor for Holiday

  3. formerlyz

    Phoenix should sign Rubio. I think the fit makes a lot of sense. I also like the fit of D’Angelo Russell in Indiana next to Oladipo, even though that has some defensive issues. They need defense and shooting on the wing regardless. Maybe Russell alleviates some of that shooting issue, and you use the draft to add on the wing…maybe a PJ Washington or Rui Hachimura makes some sense for them, assuming they’re there for them at 18

  4. Not sure if I buy the trade talk. Does a combination of A. Holiday, 18th pick, and Sabonis/Turner equal the 4th?

    If Turner is included, NO would have to send back some salary, correct?

    Does Sabonis’s old timey post game jive with Zion?

    Rubio makes sense.

    • kenly0

      Turner will be making 18 mil next year. Not sure if the Pels would have to match that salary or the 3.5 from this year. If it’s the 18 then the Pacers would have to take back Hill or Moore to make the money right. Turner is still only 23 or 24. So, I’d definitely do that deal if I’m the Pels. Ball, Jrue, Ingram, Zion, and Turner is a nice starting 5.

    • Jason Lancaster

      Sabonis is a coveted asset from what I’ve read – I’d think Sabonis + any 1st rounder is a good starting point for the #4 pick. Maybe it’s not quite enough, but it’s close.

      Sabonis is a solid young big who hasn’t hit his ceiling yet, and unlike most guys at his position he’s a hell of a passer. He’s the 14th best center in the NBA last season according to BPM. While you have to discount that a bit because he’s a bench player (BPM against 2nd unit guys isn’t the same as BPM against starters), he’s only 23. If he can cut back on the turnovers and continue to work on his shooting, he could be a Carlos Boozer type player that does a little bit of everything on a good team.

  5. utlchp

    I like Rubio, but the Pacers need more players that can hit 3s consistently. He’s only about a 32% shooter from long range. Vic is decent but that’s not his strong suit either. If we can’t resign Bogdanovic then we will really be at a disadvantage from a 3P perspective.

  6. hoosierhysteria

    Rubio not a fit. Not a great 3point shooter nor a great defender….pass

    • Jason Lancaster

      Well, you’re half right. Rubio’s 3 is average at best.

      But the guy is a solid defender at the PG position – he was 11th in the NBA for PGs in DBPM this season, and 9th in DWS among all PGs this season.

      So basically, solidly above average defense for a PG.

    • Alphabet Street

      Over the course of Rubio’s career, he is 2nd only to Chris Paul among PGs in both steals per 36 and defensive +/- (I checked ESPN’s yearly DRPM ratings in this instance, but other adjusted +/- stats have similar results). Last year, Rubio tied Paul George for the league lead in combined hustle stats (deflections + loose balls recovered) per 36. With Paul aging, Rubio may literally be the best defensive PG in the NBA. I’d probably put Paul & Beverley ahead of him… but he has a reasonable case.

  7. Guest617

    rubio plays like toney parker.. no speed, but does the other things well. too bad he’s only 28

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