Ricky Rubio is in his homeland of Spain right now, and his latest appearance on local television indicates that he and the Utah Jazz will soon be going their separate ways.
Ricky Rubio: “Utah has already let me know I’m not a priority for them”https://t.co/CRdh8YVdZw— Sportando (@Sportando) June 2, 2019
The Jazz had a decision to make regarding whether or not they would hold on to Rubio’s costly cap hold of $22.5 million before free agency begins. It seems like Utah’s front office has given Rubio a heads up well in advance that he will become an unrestricted free agent.
Renouncing their rights to Rubio along with waiving all of their non-guaranteed salaries would easily put the Jazz in position to attempt to woo a max free agent like Tobias Harris. And with Rudy Gobert qualifying for a supermax extension next summer as a result of his appearance on the All-NBA third team, this is Utah’s last opportunity to build the best team possible around Donovan Mitchell before he and Gobert get expensive.
During his two seasons in Salt Lake, Rubio averaged 12.9 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.7 assists (+2.2 assist-to-turnover ratio) and 1.5 steals in 28.6 minutes.
It would’ve been easy to connect the dots with Rubio if Igor Kokoskov was still the Suns’ head coach, but is this the player archetype James Jones and Monty Williams want alongside Devin Booker? At least on the surface short-term, the fit would make plenty of sense. Rubio is a savvy facilitator who would know how to feed Deandre Ayton and Booker, plus he can at least hold his own defensively.
The Rubio-Suns pairing makes even more sense if Phoenix does indeed take a point guard like Darius Garland or Coby White at No. 6 overall. Especially for a player like White, who will need a minimum of 18-24 months of development before he’s ready to handle the full-time point guard duties, Rubio would be a much-needed mentor to learn the professional ropes from.
“Ricky Rubio I just think is a nice transition, as far as getting an adult in the locker room who can make great decisions. Obviously he’s not a great fit long-term with his lack of shooting, but I think to bridge the gap — let's say they take Darius Garland or Coby White at No. 6 — I would sign Rubio and have him start at least short-term and just get more infrastructure there.”
It sure seems like the Suns are hunting for that “bridge” to whomever the next point guard will be on the next great Suns team. Not only does Rubio qualify, but we should keep an eye on guys such as Darren Collison and Patrick Beverley in this mold as well.
For Phoenix to have the requisite space to sign someone like Rubio, who will likely cost somewhere between $10-14 million annually, they will need to either stretch the final year of Tyler Johnson’s $19.2 million salary or trade T.J. Warren or Josh Jackson into some other team’s cap space.
What side of the fence do you land on with Rubio’s in Phoenix? Do you think the 28-year-old Spaniard fills an immediate need, or are there better options elsewhere?
Would you approve of Ricky Rubio as the Suns’ starting point guard the next two seasons?
This poll is closed
Absolutely, no questions asked
Only if Phoenix drafts a rookie point guard at No. 6 to "bridge the gap"
Nope, better options are available