Rubio On Wolves’ Play: “I Don’t Feel Like This Is Building Something”

So far, a midseason coaching change has done nothing to help the Timberwolves turn things around. After starting the season with a league-worst 7-24 record, Minnesota replaced head coach Ryan Saunders with Chris Finch, but the club has lost Finch’s first four games by an average of 17 points per contest.

Besides being frustrated by the results on the court, veteran point guard Ricky Rubio is concerned about the Wolves’ process and the habits they’re developing, as Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic writes.

“We have to build good habits from day one, and I don’t think we are in the right way, to be honest,” Rubio said on Sunday. “I can be here and be positive like we’re trying to be and it’s OK. But we have the worst record in the league. We lost way too many games by 20-plus, and I don’t feel like this is building something. It’s hard. You always have to take positive things and of course, we want to get better, but at one point we got to start wanting to change something, and it’s not happening.”

After hosting the Hornets on Wednesday in their final game of the first half, the Wolves will be off for a week, and Rubio expressed hope that the All-Star break will benefit a team that is “not playing good.”

Rubio made it clear he wasn’t blaming Finch, who “has a lot on his plate” taking over a struggling team in the middle of the season. More practice time under the new coach might help, according to Rubio, who was frustrated by the fact that the Wolves couldn’t stop Devin Booker and the Suns from scoring on Sunday when Phoenix repeatedly ran the same set.

“When you’re young and you gotta play through the mistakes, I understand,” Rubio said, per Krawczynski. “But at one point, if you do the same mistake over and over again, it means you’re not learning. Learning through mistakes as a young team can happen, but then make different mistakes. I think we’re doing the same mistakes over and over.”

Rubio, who was reacquired by Minnesota in the fall to complement young guard D’Angelo Russell, hasn’t been a great on-court fit with D-Lo and is having one of the worst seasons of his 10-year NBA career, averaging a career-low 7.6 points per game on 37.8% shooting. While president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas may explore dealing Rubio at the trade deadline, the guard’s $17.8MM guaranteed salary for 2021/22 will make him a tricky piece to move.

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36 thoughts on “Rubio On Wolves’ Play: “I Don’t Feel Like This Is Building Something”

  1. Rubio is right here. I know they’ve had some bad luck injury/Covid wise but this team is still too talented to be the worst team in the league.

    I think their problem is they don’t have any identity. They can score in bunches but can’t stop anyone. To me, it’s becoming apparent that Towns is more robin than Batman. This team should have more wins than the pistons who are in clear rebuild mode or even teams like CLE, OKC & HOU.

    • Northern Expansion 416

      I’m glad he didn’t say “We are good and I love it here”. That’s the only comment that 98% of the players ever say. There is nothing wrong with keeping it real.

  2. Northern Expansion 416

    Well would you look at that… Finally a bold player that tells it like it is. I guess Jimmy Butler is not the only one who speaks his mind in the NBA.

  3. Jaysfan1981

    What do the Raptors give up to try and aquire Towns?

    He has the potential to be a great C and the Raptors sorely need one to become contenders again

    Minny isn’t contending anytime soon

    • Ironmonger835

      I don’t think they have much to give up. Their draft picks won’t be great and they don’t really have a great young player. Siakim is an All-Star but they would wanna keep him. OG is solid but he’ll never be an All-Star. They can probably get more from other teams for Towns.

      • I wonder if NO tries to make a play for Towns with it’s stockpile of draft capital, word is they’re in the market for a C

        • Ironmonger835

          They should but Minnesota isn’t likely to trade him. I think the Russell trade was a big mistake.

        • formerlyz

          NAW, Josh Hart, Reddick, Jackson Hayes, Nicolo Melli and at least 2 1sts for KAT and Okogie, and I’m still not sure that’s enough for Minnesota, but I also thought the deal they (NO) made for Anthony Davis wasnt enough either, even after they lucked into that 4th pick…

          That would leave Minnesota with
          Rubio, NAW, Hart, McDaniels, Reid
          Edwards, Reddick, Hayes, Melli, Culver

          And Russell eventually coming back, the picks, and a couple of pieces in Vanderbilt and Nowell, plus weighing about Layman and Hernangomez…

          Definitely significantly better in terms of overall roster, but still not enough for a team like them to consider moving someone like KAT

          New Orleans would have a pretty impressive 6 or 7 guys, but they would lose some floor spacing, and giving up Hart, while getting Okogie doesnt really get rid of their defensive issues, although they obviously probably would have to do something like that if it were actually available, considering the player KAT is, and the talent they would have in their front court

          • Ironmonger835

            Doesn’t make sense for Minnesota. What good are all those guys when you can’t play all of them. They would be even worse off. That’s the problem trading a star level player. You usually just get back a bunch of role players that get in each other’s way. I wouldn’t trade KAT. He’s under contract for a long time. Trade Russell and Beasley. Maybe Rubio if there’s any market for him.

            • formerlyz

              I obviously agree they shouldnt move KAT. I think I said it. I was just responding to the previous post of what it might look like, and how that’s still not enough

            • formerlyz

              To me, everyone should be on the table/moved, besides KAT, McDaniels, and maybe Okogie and Beasley, but I’d move those guys in the right deals too. Not sure what that would get them, but regardless they would need to do a good enough job of accumulating whatever assets they can, and moving towards something. You run the risk of coming to that point with KAT, but how salty could he really be when they’re already in thos position anyway

          • The physical make-up of tge roster really bothers me too, i know this is stupid but they have 6 6’4 guys and 6 6’9 guys. A lot of their players seem redundant too, like 3 or 4 guys are the exact same size and also have the exact same game.

    • Northern Expansion 416

      Baynes , Powell and some throw in players. Raptors value Powell so I don’t see a deal for KAT happening. Realistically the raptors can trade for Bamba. I would love if they could trade for Miles Turner (Baynes, Stanley,McCaw and a pick) but that’s unlikely.

  4. formerlyz

    They fired the coach for having the exact season they’re expected to have, and then run out the same lineups. Obviously, they have a couple of injuries, but still…maybe consider using McDaniels at the 4 next to KAT, and trying to balance the floor a bit. Beasley is out for now, but Culver is back. He hasnt shot the ball the way you might expect though…couple of different things worth a try, although admittedly its difficult to come up with a competent rotation. Hard to get shooting on the floor for them, and their better defenders have been terrible offensively

    Mcglaughlin, Nowell, Culver, McDaniels, KAT
    Rubio, Vanderbilt, Layman, Okogie, Edwards, Reid?

    Thought of a couple of others, but not much time worth thinking about them. I’m just saying if you fire your coach, despite your team being terrible having nothing to do with him, try something different

  5. Finch certainly has a lot on his plate. A first time HC hired mid-year from outside the organization, taking over a chronically underachieving and strangely assembled roster. KAT needs to show some leadership here if anything is going to change quickly. Rubio seems like the only player who really cares about the team’s results.

  6. They need to do a complete rebuild. Everyone but George should be available for trade. Bring in a bunch of draft picks and young future stars. Trade D’lo he is offense only player.

  7. Wade Herbers

    Rubio should be glad he’s geting the $$$ for what he can provide..High school kids out shoot him………his D has been erratic. The guy just plain cant shoot.

    • Vince 2

      You really believe Minnesota has a good team? The Front Office for this team has been bad for awhile.

  8. phillyballers

    Really? It’s poor roster construction:

    PG – Rubio (6’3) DLO (6’4)
    SG – Edwards (6’4), Beasley (6’4), Okogie (6’4), Nowell (6’4), Culver (6’6)
    SF – Layman (6’8)
    PF – Hernangomez (6’9), Vanderbilt (6’9), McDaniels (6’9), Davis (6’9)
    C – KAT (6’11), Reid (6’9)

    Davis, Layman, Hernangomez, McDaniels, and Vanderbilt all play less than 20 minutes per game.

    Team has no size or length. Why can’t they play D? B/c they have no one to defend forwards or protect the rim.

    • formerlyz

      Very little shooting on the roster as well. I would also call it a little friendly to call Layman a 3…I originally had them grabbing Bane and Tillman with their 2nd and 3rd picks, while they ended up trading them to grab McDaniels. McDaniels is good, and fits them, but I would imagine they might look better with Bane and Tillman right now, although they would likely still have plenty of similar issues anyway

      • phillyballers

        Well they’ll probably draft Cade Cunningham or Jalen Suggs. So they’re going to have more PG/SGs than they know what to do with.

        Myles Turner is a dude that keeps coming up in trade rumors. He would be a fit for this roster. And he has 2 more years left on his deal.

        Thad Young could also work too.

        Trade some of the guards.

        • I like the Turner idea, kinda do what NO is doin with Adams and Zion, allows Towns to move around some more, even though it seems like he moves around plenty already.

    • Northern Expansion 416

      The one defender that they had (Hollis-Jefferson) they did not even keep him…

  9. I Beg To Differ

    Wolves should trade KAT.

    Honestly, Thunder need a long term building block to go along with SGA. Go get KAT.

    They’ve amassed so many draft picks, send the Wolves Horford and a plethora of draft picks for KAT.

  10. I Beg To Differ

    Wolves need to get rid of Russell.

    Maybe a Russell for Kemba Walker deal with other assets involved.

    Definitely feel like both need out of their current place. Does Kemba or Russell have a NTC?

    • buttholesurfer69

      Celtics would have to spruce that up quite a bit I think, given Kemba’s age and recent play. Not sure if they have enough quality young dudes and/or picks for Minny to bite

      Also, I don’t know if Minnesota has truly come to terms with the fact they really stink. I could see them deluding themselves into another 2-3 years of KAT and D’Angelo

  11. Jdog70

    How about trading Towns, Culver and Rubio to the Celtics for Kemba, Smart and Thompson and a first-rounder?

    • I give no fox

      Add a couple more firsts and some pick swaps and maybe Minnesota doesn’t hang up

    • phillyballers

      That does nothing for Minnesota. They’re drafting Cade Cunningham or Jalen Suggs. They need a wing or stretch 4.

  12. x%sure

    Towns is not a good leader, too whimsical. Buddy D’Lo makes that worse. Frankly they have ditzy players. They have talent but they look scattered and there’s not a good base. There’s no evidence an NBA team can win there. Gosh so negative! I was more positive at the stsrt of last year.

    I would give Jay Nowell more run, as if they need more 2Gs… but with no real 3s, they should be able to use three of their 6-4 guys.

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