Ricky Rubio‘s name has floated around in trade rumors for many years now, but those rumors could become reality this season. The Minnesota Timberwolves are discussing a potential deal with the Detroit Pistons that would swap Rubio for Reggie Jackson.
Story going online now with @ChrisBHaynes: ESPN sources say Minnesota and Detroit have discussed a PG swap of Ricky Rubio and Reggie Jackson
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) January 21, 2017
Detroit (20-24) is only a game back of the Chicago Bulls for the 8th seed in the Eastern Conference while Minnesota (15-28) is only 3 games back of the Denver Nuggets for the 8th seed in the Western Conference. With both teams still in the hunt for a playoff berth, each would have to feel they were winning the deal for this trade to be accepted by either side.
Considering Rubio has never been to the playoffs, Detroit may be hesitant to make a deal because they want to compete for a championship. Reggie Jackson went to the playoffs twice while with the Oklahoma City Thunder as well as with the Pistons last season, making him the more valuable option for Detroit long term.
The Timberwolves and Pistons have discussed a potential swap of point guards Ricky Rubio and Reggie Jackson. https://t.co/fRpM4BOV6s
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 21, 2017
For Minnesota, Jackson may be the veteran they need to become the dominant team many had projected they were going to be. Adding a more productive point guard to the situation could open up the floor for teammates, which could boost the Timberwolves to their first playoff appearance since the 2004 Western Conference Finals.
On Detroit’s end, the deal does not make sense if they are looking to take the next step with their franchise. Jackson has helped take them from the bottom of the NBA to one of the league’s best teams in a short period of time. They’re not at the point of having to tank, but this trade would put them in the uncomfortable spot of being too good to tank, but too bad to play a playoff run.
A trade between these two teams would likely have to involve other pieces, or even another team to spice things up a bit. Both Detroit and Minnesota may see somebody they want on the opposing roster, but somebody else will have to join in the action to make this rumor a trade. It’s hard to see this deal working out, but if it does, each team will have a new man running the show.