Ricky Rubio has to have been fearing a possible trade from the moment that the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Kris Dunn in this June’s NBA Draft. After all, Tom Thibodeau and Scott Layden were brought in to make significant changes to the long maligned franchise.
The Wolves have the longest-running playoff drought in the league and are looking to turn the corner with their young core centered around Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Anthony Towns.
With all this roster turnover and management change, it would be easy to see the last part of the old core be ushered out as Rubio was dealt. The 25-year-old looks to be staying put if current moves are any indication.
The point guard recently told the Associated Press that he feels like he can still help Minnesota become a winner.
He said: “I’m really excited about the new coach and the new staff. They have a lot of years in their backpack and really can teach us how to reach the next level. I think we have the tools. We just have to put them all together.”
In his six years in the league, this is the best mix of talent that will grace the Target Center floor. Kevin Love led some middle of the road squads in the past but players like Zach Lavine, Towns and Wiggins would have all been the second best players on those teams.
Dunn’s presence also makes room for Thibodeau to tinker with lineups and avoid stretches without a true point guard on the floor to run the offence. The starting point guard is an “elder statesman”, alongside long-time veteran Kevin Garnett, on a team flush with youth.
In the NBA, like most professional sports leagues, team success is predicated on wins and losses. Hype will only get you so far. Rubio is ready to translate all this promise into results this season.