Ricky Rubio hasn’t found a level of comfort since returning to the Timberwolves, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. After the Suns traded Rubio to Oklahoma City on draft day, Minnesota expressed interest in bringing him back to the place where he played his first six NBA seasons. However, he hasn’t developed a rapport with backcourt mate D’Angelo Russell, and the Wolves are sinking with their best player, Karl-Anthony Towns, sidelined by COVID-19.
“Trying to pick it up, but it’s tough,” Rubio said. “It is what it is. There’s no excuses. I’m going to keep working hard. I’ve been in the league for 10 years and I know who I am, but it’s off. My game is not here, and I’ve got to find it.”
Through the first part of the season, Rubio is averaging career lows at 6.2 points, 5.7 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game. His shot has been off as he’s posting his worst marks ever in effective field-goal percentage (.369), field-goal percentage (.341) and 3-point shooting (.185).
“There’s a fine line of overthinking,” Rubio said. “Sometimes, if you think too much, it’s bad for you, but you can’t just let it go and go out there. You’ve got to fix it if things are not working. Got to feel better with the system, with what we’re running, and as a point guard, I’ve got to do my job.”
There’s more on the Wolves:
- Rubio could wind up being a trade chip, suggests Chris Hine of The Star Tribune. The veteran guard will have a $17.8MM expiring contract next season, which could be useful to help match salary in a deal. Hine adds that team president Gersson Rosas views trades as the best way to improve.
- Second-year center Naz Reid, who has taken over as a starter in Towns’ absence, shares the organizational philosophy of avoiding mid-range shots, Hine writes in a separate story. “It’s not that I can’t shoot them. It’s that I don’t feel right shooting (them),” Reid said. “The system of (rim) twos, threes, free throws is a proper system.”
- Towns revealed this week that he was hit by a drunk driver in Los Angeles before the start of the season, relays Mark Medina of USA Today. Towns, who lost his mother and six other family members to COVID-19 last year, talked about the incident in a question-and-answer session on Instagram about how he has overcome so much adversity.