4. Ricky Rubio
This one is a vote of confidence in the likes of Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown as much as it is a credit to Ricky Rubio’s enduring … okay-ness? The former lottery pick and YouTube phenom has been entirely serviceable for the duration of his career, yet he never quite lived up to his pre-draft billing and never seemed to rise above role player status.
However, with the Celtics’ potential hole at point guard, there seems to be some mutual interest between the two parties.
With a still young and talented roster, the Boston Celtics and Rubio could be tailor-made fit for the moment. If there’s one thing Rubio can do in this league at a top level, it’s pass, and an Irving departure means there would be a lot more touches to be had for the Jays.
Rubio is a prototype point guard for young, ambitious wing players looking to improve their scoring acumen. He’s a solid athlete, can run some fast break or slow it down in the half-court, and has no interest in prioritizing his shot over that of his teammates. Rubio’s game is predicated on helping his teammates.
With that being said, there are obvious limitations to Rubio’s game. He’s solid on defense, having served as a cog in the Utah Jazz defensive machine, but he’s no pit bull on the perimeter. He’s never really shown much of a penchant for creating his own shot consistently, and while any coach would be comfortable putting the keys of the offense in Rubio’s capable hands, he’s certainly no point god at masterminding high-powered offenses.
He’s just okay — no less than that, but no more. The Celtics investing in Rubio is akin to the team putting its trust and identity in the Jays, with the hope they develop further in Brad Stevens’ system alongside an entirely solid and pass-happy point guard.