Timberwolves Trade For Ricky Rubio

NOVEMBER 20: The trade is now official, according to the Timberwolves, who announced it in a press release. As expected, Johnson was sent to the Thunder along with the rights to Pokusevski in exchange for Rubio, the No. 25 pick, and the No. 28 pick. Oklahoma City also received the Timberwolves’ 2024 second-round pick in the deal.

Minnesota subsequently flipped the No. 25 pick (Immanuel Quickley) to New York in a deal for Leandro Bolmaro (No. 23). The Wolves have also confirmed that trade.


NOVEMBER 19: Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News (Twitter link) confirms that Johnson will be a part of this deal for salary-matching purposes. The veteran forward will still need to pick up his option before he can officially be traded.


NOVEMBER 18: The Timberwolves will acquire point guard Ricky Rubio from the Thunder, along with the 25th and 28th picks in this year’s draft, in exchange for the 17th selection, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Oklahoma City will receive Serbian 7-footer Aleksej Pokusevski, whom Minnesota selected at No. 17. The Thunder had expressed interest in Pokusevski throughout the past two weeks.

Although it hasn’t been reported yet, James Johnson will likely have to be included in the deal to match salaries. Rubio will earn $17MM during the upcoming season, while Johnson has a $16MM player option that he is virtually certain to pick up.

The deal represents a homecoming for Rubio, who spent six seasons with the Wolves at the start of his career. He began looking for a trade after being sent to OKC in the Chris Paul deal and was receptive to the idea of returning to Minnesota. Rubio wants to help the Wolves get back to the playoffs, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.

Rubio will share ball-handling duties in the Minnesota backcourt with D’Angelo Russell, who was acquired at the trade deadline, and will reunite with former teammate Karl-Anthony Towns.

In addition to the 25th and 28th picks, the Wolves also own the 33rd pick in tonight’s second round. The Thunder, who have been stockpiling picks, will select again at 34 and 53.

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38 thoughts on “Timberwolves Trade For Ricky Rubio

  1. Curtisrowe

    Interesting. Both Wolves and Suns could be knocking on the door next year.

  2. GoLandCrabs

    Yay 2 more seasons of “will the Timberwolves trade Ricky Rubio” rumors

  3. afsooner02

    Wow….still feels like an overpay if it’s just for the 17….but okc must have wanted that pick. Least they dumped Rubio and the contract.

    • Jason Lancaster

      A lot of the moves that OKC has made recently seem to be driven by a desire to help players get what they want. Maybe Rubio preferred Minny over OKC?

      • Eric Lord

        The Thunder were never keeping Rubio. They want Gilgeous-Alexander to run the show. It is his team now.

        • Shai’s gonna run the show for this train wreck for the next 2 years, then he’s gonna refuse his contract extension. Presti has started a dumpster fire & Shai ain’t gonna want to be along for this ride. Playoffs for his 1st 2 years and then a race to last place for his next 2 years.

    • Eric Lord

      I agree that it is a bit of an overpay, but I guess the Thunder were more interested in moving Rubio’s contract out

  4. Jason Lancaster

    It’s a good trade for Minny, but I can’t imagine Rubio is very excited (or Jarrett Culver for that matter…Rubio is basically Culver with a better handle and better vision).

    • bbgarnett

      Rubio said he was receptive to returning to MN when he heard they had interest.

  5. PutoBelga12

    Nice guard logjam for the Wolves, or do they plan to play Rubio as power forward?

    • Jason Lancaster

      You could put Russell at the 3 if you wanted to. He’d kill your defense, but he was going to do that anyways.

      My guess is that they’ll put Rubio 1, Russell 2, and make Culver and Edwards fight for the 6th man role.

      But who knows – maybe they play all four guards plus KAT. They’d score like crazy.

      • mnsportsfan

        they’re not putting russel off the ball, they brought him in to be the playmaker

        rubio will be sixth man

  6. I'm a starboy not a Dr...

    So they draft Edwards and still have a man crush on Rubio??? And to think they chose Rubio & Flynn over Curry back in 2009!!! These franchises that make no effort to win should be fined!

    • They picked up a solid player and a couple extra picks a little bit lower in the draft. This is a no brainer deal for the Wolves.

  7. cwr_12

    Why would okc want a veteran big man in James Johnson when they’re in rebuild

    • x%sure

      Did they want the tall Serbian or not. They did.
      I would more question the usefulness of Rubio given that Russell wants the ball, over a guy that can adjust his game around Towns’ like JJ or Poku, whose absence creates a gap.
      I suspect it’s a plan for Rubio to get Russell off the ball eventually and politely.

      I wonder if MIN drafted Poku FOR trading to Presti.

  8. Simmons>Russ

    TWolves swap a mid level pick and James Johnson for Ricky Rubio a solid back up point guard and two late first. That’s a solid win for them.

    I don’t rate that Alexander Serbian centre really and think two late firsts could still be two decent players for the wolves and adds to their depth

    • El Don

      It’s not a center… Pokusevski might be 7″ or 7″1 but he plays SG/SF/PF… he might play the C also but is not his position…
      BTW he will be an All-Star in the NBA, make no mistake about it!

      • Poku was someone every team went and scouted highly because they didn’t want to miss out on a Giannis or Jokic. Most teams agreed that his String Bean body will never develop into an NBA body & he’ll never likely ever play stateside, so they all passed. Presti is not planning on winning for years, so he could afford this gamble and the worst case scenario, he becomes future salary filler in trades.

      • KnickerbockerAl

        He’ll be a stretch 4. Still growing he’s a kid and rail thin. For sure a future all star. Got skills for seven footer. Think Dirk with a handle. Not as good a shooter. But he’s got a high motor. High upside for PokU. Should stash him away for 3 yrs. Let him grow into his body. Like him a lot.

  9. Presti juste wanted to be ahead Collins for stealing pokuseveski from the mavs …

  10. Presti has begun “The Process 2.0”, the biggest casualty will be that he’ll lose SGA because of it. His only hope while operating in a small market is that he doesn’t duplicate the Knicks, Suns or Detroit’s success of attempting their own version of this said “Process”

  11. KnickerbockerAl

    Could not get how it could be for the 17th pick only. It seems Johnson is part of it. No it makes sense. Rubio a solid vet for young backcourt is smart. He plays D something team lacks. Makes them deeper. It’s a wise move. And for OKC they got their man. So it’s good for them too. PokU is for real, believe me. He’s a nice talent.

  12. nentwigs

    Timberpuppies also to extend a contract offer to
    Jhonny Flynn.
    Timberpuppies attempting to re-acquire Justin Patton.
    Timberpuppies to FINALLY add Henk Norel to their stable of talent.

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