After years of speculation, Ricky Rubio has finally been traded. The Salt Lake Tribune’s Tony Jones reported the Jazz have acquired Rubio in exchange for a protected 2018 first round pick. The move saves the Timberwolves over $14 million in cap space.
The Jazz enter a critical free agency period with star player Gordon Hayward on the market. Here’s a look at the current Jazz roster with their free agents in italics. The 2017 draft picks are noted in parenthesis as well.
C- Rude Gobert, Jeff Withey (FA), Tony Bradley (R)
PF- Derrick Favors, Boris Diaw, Joel Bolomboy
SF- Joe Johnson, Joe Ingles (FA)
SG- Gordon Hayward, Donovan Mitchell, Rodney Hood, Alec Burks
PG- Ricky Rubio, George Hill (FA), Dante Exum, Shelvin Mack (FA), Raul Nato, Nigel Williams-Goss (R)
While Hayward has not ruled out a return to Utah, he is being seriously pursued by the Celtics and Heat among other teams. Ingles is a restricted free agent who is also expected to generate interest from other teams in free agency.
The acquisition of Rubio likely means free agent George Hill is headed elsewhere. If the Jazz can retain Hayward, the addition of Rubio strengthens their young core of players. While Rubio has his struggles shooting the ball, he is a great playmaker. Rubio averaged 11.1 points and 9.1 assists last season with the Timberwolves. Minnesota has now been linked to Jeff Teague as a potential replacement at point guard.