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Utah Jazz Acquire Ricky Rubio

The Utah Jazz have traded with the Minnesota Timberwolves for veteran point guard Ricky Rubio

SALT LAKE CITY–The Utah Jazz have traded with the Minnesota Timberwolves for veteran point guard Ricky Rubio, according to multiple sources. The Jazz will send their rights to the 2018 Oklahoma City Thunder first-round pick in return.

The story was first reported by Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune, and confirmed by others.

 

Rubio, 26, averaged 11.1 points and 9.1 assists per game and shot 40.2% from the floor in 2016-17, all the highest marks of his career. By comparison, George Hill averaged 16.9 points and 4.2 assists per game last season, shooting 47.7% in 49 games.

Rubio is strong defender, excellent ball distributor, and is a young veteran, thereby fitting in with the basketball philosophy of Jazz coach Quin Snyder and general manager Dennis Lindsey. Hill is less effective passing the ball, but came up clutch often in scoring the ball.

Deseret News Jazz beat writer Jody Genessy reported Friday morning that Gordon Hayward’s decision to sign with the Jazz will be heavily swayed by the team’s decision to re-sign Hill. How the Rubio trade, which occurred in the afternoon, affects Hayward, remains to be seen. However, Genessy also reported that Rubio may make for an effective “backup plan” if Hill signs elsewhere.

 

Rubio’s contract earns him $14.25 million in 2017-18, and $14.8 million in 2018-19. With Hill in talks to receive at or near a maximum deal from other teams, it’s likely he will not return to the Jazz this season. While Rubio’s and Hill’s strengths are in different areas at the same position, Rubio can still boast high-level production for double-digit millions less than Hill would probably require. That extra money available to the Jazz may be what the team needed to make room to match any offer for restricted free agent and sharpshooter Joe Ingles.


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