Minnesota Timberwolves: Pass/pursue NBA trade deadline rumors

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports /
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NBA trade deadline, Minnesota Timberwolves David Berding-USA TODAY Sports
NBA trade deadline, Minnesota Timberwolves David Berding-USA TODAY Sports /

Should the Minnesota Timberwolves trade Ricky Rubio?

It’s the question that many Timberwolves fans have been hesitant to ask, but there comes a point when it has to be said: is Rubio good for Minnesota still?

The question doesn’t revolve around culture, as by all accounts Rubio is still loved in the frozen north, but rather around skillset. Is it smart for a team so clearly on the rebuild to hold on to a veteran player who neither fits the profile of a player the team needs nor the front office wants, simply because he’s beloved in the locker room? It’s the same dilemma that Minnesota faced with former-Head Coach Ryan Saunders.  We saw what happened there, is Rubio set for the same fate?

With that question, the biggest hurdle Minnesota will face is in other team’s perception of Rubio. This year has not helped Rubio’s trade value, and team’s may think he’s lost a step or two and not able to produce like he used to. Especially when coming off the bench. Because of that, Minnesota would likely have to package him with someone who is a little more appealing.

Best Possible Package:

Every fiber of my being tells me this wouldn’t work. Every single aspect of me says something is wrong here. Every instinct I have as a sports writer is telling me I need to go back to the drawing board here because, goddammit, something isn’t right.

I just can’t tell what.

The San Antonio Spurs are actively looking to ship LaMarcus Aldridge, and they really don’t want to have to buy him out. If Minnesota is looking to move Rubio, and it sounds like there is at least preliminary interest in getting a deal done, then why not swing for a veteran who could help Towns in his development.

But the real kicker here is Lonnie Walker IV. This guy has been having the quietest of all breakout seasons, and with two years left on his current deal, he could do a lot of major developing for cheap. Invest in him now, and he could be a key piece in the future. The big question is whether or not San Antonio would be willing to move Walker. Signs are pointing towards no, but if Minnesota could put together an enticing enough package then moving Rubio for Walker may not be the worst idea in the world.

Of course, neither of these guys fits Gersson Rosas’ vision for how a team should look and play, but neither does half the roster at this point. If you’re going to bring in guys who you may simply move later, why not have it be the best you can get?

Decision: Pursue