Rubio-Rose trade could (and should) happen

Ricky Rubio of the Timberwolves may be changing teams this summer.

At this year’s trade deadline, the New York Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves held trade discussions centered around Derrick Rose and Ricky Rubio. Talks ended up falling through, but many around the league expected the Wolves and Knicks to engage in those conversations again during the offseason.

Rose will be a free agent for the first time in his career this summer and ESPN has already reported that the Timberwolves will pursue the former MVP in free agency. Wolves head coach Tom Thibodeau, of course, coached Rose in Chicago for five years.

As the third option in New York this past season, Rose averaged 18.0 points, 4.4 assists and 3.8 rebounds per game while shooting an efficient 47.1 percent from the field. The Chicago native did undergo his fourth knee surgery towards the end of the season, but the good news is that he is already back on the court doing basketball activities.

Rubio, meanwhile, is coming off a solid season with Minnesota. The Spaniard averaged a career-high 11.1 points while dishing out 9.1 assists per game. Shooting, however, continues to be Rubio’s downfall, as he barely shot over 40 percent from the field.

Thibodeau’s offense is built for the point guard to succeed. From making Rose an MVP to reviving the careers of Nate Robinson, D.J. Augustin and John Lucas III in Chicago, Thibs always gets the most out of each point guard that runs his system.

Rubio did well in his first year with Thibodeau, playing the best basketball of his career after the All-Star break, when he averaged 10.5 points and 16.0 assists. Opposing defenses, though, can easily game plan for Minnesota and its heavy pick-and-roll sets because Rubio is not a threat to score the ball.

There were too many instances in the fourth quarter this year where teams would double-team Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns, forcing Rubio to be a playmaker with an intent to score instead of pass. That tactic worked to perfection for opposing teams, as Rubio can’t create a shot for himself when the game slows down in the half-court.

That’s where Rose comes in, whose skills were not properly used with the Knicks. There were countless times this season where Jeff Hornacek would have Rose, one of the best slashers in the game, just sit in the corner while either Carmelo Anthony or Kristaps Porzingis got their isolation number called.

Rose put up healthy numbers in the triangle offense, but he looked disengaged half the time. The 28-year-old thrives in a pick-and-roll setting where there are driving lanes for him to attack and finish at the rim.

Since Rose and Thibodeau have such a strong rapport with each other, and the Knicks need a pass-first point guard to feed and develop Porzingis, it wouldn’t be a surprise if New York and Minnesota complete a sign-and-trade this summer involving Rubio and Rose.

A new report has surfaced that the Knicks remain interested in trading for Rubio. New York can re-sign Rose and then trade him to the Wolves in exchange for Rubio.

Rose is the type of player who feeds off of being around a winning atmosphere and coach. Last month, an NBA executive told the New York Daily News that Rose would “blossom in a solid organization.”

If this trade happens, it’s a win-win for both sides. Thibodeau gets his downhill scorer while the Knicks get their new floor general whose number one priority will be to get Porzingis the ball every possession.

Ashish Mathur is an NBA writer at AmicoHoops. Follow him on Twitter – amathurNBA.

5 Comments on "Rubio-Rose trade could (and should) happen"

  1. Craig Forester | June 4, 2017 at 4:57 am |

    Trading Rubio for Rose would be beyond stupid. Rose is toast.
    Rubio is just now coming into his own. Minnesota is on the verge of being a real contender.
    Downgrading the point guard spot with Rose would be a huge mistake.

    • Sam Amico Sam Amico | June 4, 2017 at 7:57 am |

      Disagree that Rose would be a downgrade, Craig. He knows Thibs well and veterans can revive their careers in the right situation. I love watching the Twolves, but they stink. They need to do something. Either way, thanks for reading! – Sam A.

      • What about all the times rose just decides to check out of games or his tendency to have bad chemistry with other players what about the fact that he can’t pass the ball to save his life and we have a starting five full of scorers. Rubio is perfect for the wolves. Ask yourself this why do the knicks want him so bad if he’s ‘no good’.

  2. Brandon Brouillette | June 4, 2017 at 11:10 am |

    The Wolves stink because they are young, can’t play defense, and have experienced three coaching changes over the last three years. Rubio for Rose doesn’t improve that. The Wolves are already one of the best offensive teams and Rose is a clear downgrade defensively. Rubio is younger and will likely have a superior contract once Rose is signed to a new deal. The stated reasoning for why the Knicks would want Rubio is so a pass first point guard can feed Porzingis, but what about all the mouths to feed in Minnesota? Towns, Wiggins, Lavine, perhaps another top 7 pick– If there was any team that needed a pass first point guard, it’s the Wolves. The article also falsely claims that Rose is a more efficient shooter based on FG% when in fact Rubio had a higher TS% than Rose did last year.

    There is simply no reason for the Wolves to do this trade.

  3. Craig Forester | June 4, 2017 at 2:29 pm |

    Brandon is right on the nobs….Rubio is the superior defender….way better passer….and exactly the player the Wolves need to distribute the ball to Towns, Wiggins, and Lavine. Rose was a great player, but now he is mediocre and the Knicks know it.
    I would no more trade Rubio for Rose than would I have traded K.G. for the end of the Celtics bench. That was another bonehead trade. Getting Wiggins for a disgruntled Love was a great deal, and would have been an awesome deal if Bennett had been any good at all.
    Rose pre injury you do the deal. Rose post injury is damaged goods, and no way do you do the deal.

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