File this under amusement more than any sort of bona fide news (which, let’s be honest, is a lot of what goes on here anyway).
I read yesterday the New York Daily News story about Ricky Rubio and a potential trade (along with a host of other trade chatter as the NBA’s deadline approaches Thursday). The upshot:
Zach LaVine was nothing short of spectacular in winning his second straight Slam Dunk contest Saturday and by the end of this week he may win something else; the starting point guard job for the Minnesota Timberwolves. Incumbent Ricky Rubio is readily available and the feeling is that the Spanish guard could be moved prior to Thursday’s NBA trade deadline.
On Monday, you could find a whole host of other pieces about a possible Rubio trade. But you’d be hard-pressed to find one that didn’t link back to the NYDN piece (which was pretty thin to begin with, though it wasn’t presenting itself as anything definitive).
NBC Sports? Yep.
CBS Sports? Yep.
SB Nation? Yep.
That doesn’t mean it won’t happen. That doesn’t mean there isn’t a discussion to be had about the merits of dealing Rubio, who is 25 years old, under contract for three more years after this and whose skill set at as a guy who can do just about everything but shoot and score — which are two very important things — creates divergent opinions about his worth and place on the Wolves going forward.
But if you’re thinking to yourself, “Wow, there’s a lot of Ricky Rubio trade talk out there …” nope. It’s just the endless loop of the Internet, leading you back to the same place.
All I know for sure is this: Rubio’s bobblehead night Saturday would be pretty awkward.
Wolves Press Clippings
Never underestimate trade deadline chaos
10 Things I Like and Don't Like
1. Zach LaVine and Aaron Gordon, forever
The league has already started talking about a rematch, and this absolutely needs to happen. LaVine is the best dunker since peak Vince Carter, and perhaps the best dunker in basketball history. He's just 20, and he won't be a real All-Star anytime soon. He won't graduate out of the dunk contest, though he must feel some pressure about conjuring new tricks as the hype grows.
LaVine should make this contest his thing -- his All-Star tradition. The dunk contest will be "back" as long as he's in it, and he seems like the kind of guy who might want to establish the first dunk contest dynasty. Why couldn't he win five years in a row?
The league wasn't prepared for a prolonged battle of perfect 50s, and it felt as if we were going on and on until someone made a mistake -- the NBA version of a spelling bee in which the final two contestants keep getting it right. One solution: Declare co-winners earlier. Would anyone have complained?
Wyc Grousbeck, the Celtics owner, offered another solution in a few chit-chats with higher-ups after the dunk contest, sources say: giving each judge a "golden 11" score to use just once over the full contest. That would introduce some suspense and break ties earlier. I'm not sure anyone wanted that dunk contest to stop, but it's an interesting idea.
That was by far the best Skills Challenge I can remember. One small change transformed the whole event. We saw one big man gaffe -- Boogie losing the ball on one of his first dribbles -- and the awesome site of all the bigs storming the court as Karl-Anthony Towns dueled Isaiah Thomas on those final, rushed Pop-A-Shot 3s. There was real joy in what had been a silent, blah event.
Wolves Press Clippings
Ten big trades we'd like to see before the NBA deadline
Houston Rockets send: Dwight Howard to Atlanta; Patrick Beverley, KJ McDaniels and Donatas Motiejunas to Minnesota
Minnesota Timberwolves send: Ricky Rubio to Atlanta
Thorpe: It's time to break up the Howard and Harden show, so sending Dwight home to a fan base that loves him is fair to a man who has had his "rep" beaten up more than he deserves. Rubio is a poor scorer and shooter but would help the Hawks enormously with his passing and defense, and he is especially suited to working with post players. Dwight's offense would grow next to Rubio and Paul Millsap, and he would make those two better players as well. In Houston, Horford would play power forward alongside Clint Capela, which would be better for both men, and he would bring leadership skills the Rockets sorely need. Teague is a shooter and penetrator who is better playing without the ball than Ty Lawson has been, making him more suited to play with Harden. The Rockets could finish games with Teague, Harden, Korver, Ariza and Horford -- five 3-point shooters and no one for opponents to hack. Minnesota would get multiple talented players at a good value, including perimeter defense, with Beverley holding down the starting spot until the Wolves can bring in another point guard. McDaniels would add to their arsenal of athletes with significant upside, and maybe Motiejunas finds his mojo and gives the Wolves their scoring power forward to complement Karl-Anthony Towns.