Jon Krawczynski: Before Wolves left for the road, Rubio…

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Minnesota has been seeking something of a “bridge” guard in return, a player capable of starting in the short term, but who’ll ultimately settle into a backup role and give way to rookie Kris Dunn to become the long-term starter, league sources said.
The Sacramento Kings have had a strong interest in acquiring Rubio, but there’s no traction on a deal between those two teams, league sources said. So far, the Timberwolves are trying to exhaust the market elsewhere for a better return of assets than the Kings can offer.
The Sacramento Kings are the most determined of several teams expressing interest in finding a pathway to a Rubio deal, league sources said, but Minnesota president and coach Tom Thibodeau is reluctant to move Rubio – outside of bringing back a no-brainer package, of course – until Dunn’s progress illustrates this season that he’s ready to fully take over the team.
NBA reporter Mitch Lawrence said on Sirius XM Radio a trade for a point guard was in the cards for the Sacramento Kings before the signed Ty Lawson: "I have heard in the last couple of weeks that the Kings were telling people, 'We're close to making a deal for a point guard'. And a lot of people thought that was going to be Ricky Rubio."
Darren Wolfson: As Taylor said on the Scoop podcast, Ricky Rubio starting year here. But Sac. has long admired him, as reported. #twolves - RT: SiriusXM NBA: @Mitch_Lawrence says the #Kings had been telling teams they were close to trading for a PG - was thought to be Ricky Rubio. Appears off now.
Though Minnesota is largely expected to hold onto Rubio as its starting point guard for the beginning of 2016-17, Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 said that Rubio might end up getting moved to another Western Conference team: the Sacramento Kings. Wolfson knows that Rubio will start the season as the Timberwolves’ starting point guard, but when Dunn elevates his play by midseason, Rubio could very well be shipped to lowly Kings of Northern California.
One thing Taylor did say is that he doesn’t believe point guard Ricky Rubio will be traded at this point. “I don’t see that as a likely possibility,” he said about a Rubio trade. “I just think the coach, everybody, likes Ricky. I think we want him to come in and improve on his shooting. But his other things, he plays defense, he gets assists, he helps the others get better. He has some wonderful qualities.
“I think the coach wants to bring an assistant coach to help Ricky on his shooting and I think that’s where we’re going to start out and go and we’ll see how good Kris Dunn is.”
The Timberwolves were active in seeking a deal for Rubio before the NBA Draft, but around the league, the price was considered too high when deals were discussed last week. Thanks to a very thin point guard class, that could quickly change. “Check back around July 10, July 15,” one NBA general manager told Sporting News. “Once teams are left holding the bag, he’s going to be a pretty big target. They will get better offers, better ones than they have been.”
Depending on how free agency shakes out, league sources said there would be no shortage of teams interested in Rubio, including Philadelphia, Houston and the Bucks, who were unwilling to part with Khris Middleton to land Rubio four months ago. The Mavericks, with an interest in signing Mike Conley as a priority, would be a potential partner and a team for which Rubio might like to play.
Philadelphia explored the possibility of working a trade for Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio on draft night, though that would likely have to be a three-team deal in order to provide the Timberwolves with the kind of veteran help the Sixers lack. Rubio is expected to be available again this summer. The Sixers have also expressed interest with the Rockets in point guard Patrick Beverley, a source told Sporting News.
Ricky Rubio: Next season is key. It's a key season because the truth is that I've been five years in the NBA and six years without playoffs would be a long time without experiencing the playoffs. I would be 26 years old and I would have to start thinking about being on a team that can make the playoffs and win.
The Milwaukee Bucks made several overtures to Wolves GM Milt Newton, and the rumors stung Rubio. Rubio said Newton told him that he was "almost traded, but we didn't because the other team didn't offer what we wanted." "When the GM comes to you and says that's what happened, it hurts, but you've got to be professional," Rubio said. "You've been here all your career and thinking they were supporting you. At some point, they weren't. But I'm professional. I'm going to give it my all. I love playing basketball and every time I step on the court I want to win."
Newton said he would have further conversations with Rubio to clear up any misunderstanding. He called Rubio "extremely valuable to the organization" and said he has already run some possible roster moves by him to get his point guard's input. "I know that he needs a little bit more communication," said Newton, who took over as the team's front office leader after Flip Saunders died in October. "If that's what it takes for a player to play to the best of his ability, those are things I'll have to realize and facilitate."
"Before the All-Star break they talked about the possibility of trading me because if the team is not going well they always want to make changes. Now I feel comfortable and I think they're not going to trade me anywhere," Ricky Rubio told 'Tot Gira' Spanish radio show of Catalunya Radio.
Jon Krawczynski: Lot of questions about Rubio-Middleton talks tonight. Here's what I was told at the time from multiple people... Bucks called several times that week trying to get Rubio. Each time they were told "Khris Middleton has to be involved to have talks." And each time the Bucks said they wouldn't part with Middleton. So that was the end of that.
After some initial talks, the Wolves told Milwaukee they would swap Ricky Rubio for Khris Middelton, and when the Bucks declined, Minnesota even discussed the possibility of tossing in a protected 2016 first-round pick, per league sources familiar with the matter. Other outlets have reported Milwaukee's interest in Rubio -- Jason Kidd seems to have a thing for rangy point guards with busted jumpers -- but Milwaukee never seriously entertained trading Middleton, sources say.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Jabari Parker were never on the block, leaving Milwaukee with only one real counter: a point guard challenge trade of Michael Carter-Williams for Rubio. Minnesota obviously wasn't doing that, and the discussions died, sources say.
Ricky Rubio: "Never being safe comes with the job. I was confident they wanted me here. When the team is not working, they always try to improve things. This time it was my turn to be mentioned in trade rumors, but I'm still here and I feel confident."
Maybe they'd have a better shot at a postseason berth if Phil Jackson & Co. upgraded the roster prior to Thursday's deadline. The Knicks expressed interest in guards Jeff Teague, Ricky Rubio and Kevin Martin but didn’t execute a deal. Jackson said last week that he didn’t have a strong cadre of assets to use in potential trades, so it’s not a huge surprise that the Knicks couldn’t strike a deal for an impact player.
"It's fun to see all the trades," he said. "Unless it's you. I mean, it's all rumors and if it happens, it happens. When your name is out there, it's not fun. But it's part of the business." This year, his name was often rumored and after Thursday's 2 p.m. deadline Wolves GM Milt Newton said he fielded calls from teams -- Milwaukee and New York, among them -- interested in Rubio, as his job requires him to do, but said he never sent a call out shopping Rubio around.
Ian Begley: Knicks recently expressed interest in Ricky Rubio, source confirms, but it's unlikely anything happens. NY Post earlier reported the talks.
Minnesota hasn't been actively searching for a trade for point guard Ricky Rubio this week, but that is likely to change this summer, league sources told The Vertical. Minnesota may start canvassing the market for a better shooting point guard to pair with young stars Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. One NBA coach who has long been enamored with Rubio, league sources said: Milwaukee's Jason Kidd. The New York Knicks' desire to find a point guard could lead them to Rubio, too.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Minnesota has no ongoing trade talks for guard Ricky Rubio now, league sources tell @The Vertical. That may change in the summer, though.
Jason Snyder: Rumor: Timberwolves making Ricky Rubio available at trade deadline http://wp.me/p14QT0-3e3L really? - Darren Wolfson: Reads like a leak from Rubio camp. But I've said many times that the Wolves aren't married to him. But they're not shopping.
Zach LaVine was nothing short of spectacular in winning his second straight Slam Dunk title on Saturday and by the end of this week he may win something else; the starting point guard job for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Incumbent Ricky Rubio is readily available and the feeling is that the Spanish guard could be moved prior to Thursday's NBA trade deadline.
Darren Wolfson: Here’s a quote from #Twolves boss Milt Newton on the Rubio trade talk: “To this point, no one has called us about Ricky. Whatever is out there is not accurate. Will someone call? I don’t know, but if that happens, it behooves the organization that I listen.” - Scott Korzenowski: Didn't exactly deny that Wolves are shopping him, though. Just said no one has called. - Darren Wolfson: I've texted some non-Wolves FO folks and nobody has told me they're shopping him. But are the Wolves married to him? I'd say no.
As you are going forward with the franchise, you had a lot of losing and you don’t take losing easily. Was there a period of time where you thought, “Maybe this isn’t a good fit that isn’t going to work out”? Now, of course, you are in a situation where you have a long-term contract and there are a couple of cornerstone talents on the roster, which are so important in the NBA. Can you describe that evolution? Ricky Rubio: No, I never thought about leaving this franchise, for a lot of reasons. One of them is because they trusted me from the beginning. And I trust them. My first year I think we would have made the playoffs if I wouldn’t get hurt, but like I said, you can’t blame it on what happened — we didn’t make the playoffs. But I feel like I really didn’t have the opportunity to take this team to the playoffs. My first year we almost did it, my second year I was hurt. My third year we won 40 games, which is a pretty good amount, and then last year I got hurt again.
What do you think prompted the Rubio trade rumors? Do you think other teams called to see if he might be available, or was it something prompted on the TWolves side to gauge interest? Jerry Zgoda: My hunch is most of that is driven by his agent and uninformed media people. Certainly, they'd trade him if they can upgrade there and get more of a scoring point guard but they're not trading him to make room for Andre and Tyus. That's complete, utter nonsense
It will be interesting to see how patient Mitchell is with point guard Ricky Rubio. The Wolves want Rubio to relax at long last, to understand he's no longer thought of as the franchise's savior -- or not even one of the team's top three talents. But it wasn't Mitchell who gave Rubio a $56 million extension last year -- it was Saunders, wearing his Prez O'Basketball Ops hat.
But Rubio, in Dubai to add star power to the BasicBall Academy summer camps at the Dubai World Trade Centre, denied he was about to move to the Big Apple or anywhere else. He told Gulf News he believes he will stay with his first and so far only NBA team. “I have confidence that the team wants me but you know in this league anybody can get traded,” said the flashy playmaker. “You don’t listen to the rumours. You just live day-by-day and that’s it.” When asked if he wanted to stay with the long-suffering Timberwolves, Rubio gave a firm: “Yes.”
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August 11, 2022 | 7:20 pm EDT Update
Appearing on The Scoop podcast with Darren Wolfson of SKOR North and 5 Eyewitness News, Glen Taylor said new Wolves president of basketball operations Tim Connelly had his eye on multiple impact trade targets, but Gobert was his “number one option.” The input of head coach Chris Finch, who expressed confidence in his ability to use Gobert and Karl-Anthony Towns, was also a key factor in Minnesota’s decision to pull the trigger on the blockbuster deal. “What I did when Tim and Chris talked to me about this trade is to ask (Finch) is there a system that he knows how to utilize these players,” Taylor said. “And he was very confident that he did understand how to utilize their skill sets, being two big guys. We talked about a lot, so he convinced me that this is something that is going to take us to a winning situation, and gave us the go-ahead to make the trade.”
Asked if he’d like to see D’Angelo Russell sign an extension before the season begins, Taylor said it might benefit both sides to hold off and see how the 2022/23 season goes. “(Finch) believes that with the new lineup, and with Russell in that lineup, that he’ll have a much better year just because of the way we’re going to play,” Taylor said. “He says he thinks there’s a big upside for Russell with this group of (players). That’s to his advantage and to our advantage if it works out.”
The plan remains for Taylor to hand over control of the franchise to incoming owners Marc Lore and Alex Rodriguez in a little over a year. The Wolves’ longtime owner said he’s not having any regrets about giving up control of the team as it becomes a more legitimate contender. “No, I don’t have any second thoughts. I think it’s the right thing to do,” Taylor said. “We’ve left some options open that I’ll continue to be involved if I want to be involved, and that suits me just fine.”
August 11, 2022 | 5:46 pm EDT Update

Cavs to hold voluntary workouts without Collin Sexton

The Cleveland Cavaliers will be gathering in Los Angeles for voluntary, player-led pre-training camp workouts next week, sources tell cleveland.com. All-Star point guard Darius Garland and Rookie of the Year runner-up Evan Mobley — two guys who spend time on the West Coast during the offseason — are helping organize the workouts.