The biggest new name in this week’s trade rumors is Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical first reported on Tuesday that Minnesota was actively shopping their starting point guard:
The Timberwolves have attached Rubio to multiple offers with Shabazz Muhammad to several teams around the NBA, league sources said. Minnesota has been seeking something of a “bridge” guard in return, a player capable of starting in the short term, but who’ll ultimately settle into a backup role and give way to rookie Kris Dunn to become the long-term starter, league sources said.
Rubio leads the Timberwolves with 7.9 assists per game but is a poor shooter, with a career 36.9 percent from the field. In his initial report, Wojnarowski listed the Sacramento Kings as a team that has “strong interest” in acquiring the 26-year-old. Rubio is in the second year of a 4-year, $55 million contract.
Sources told ESPN that no deal appeared imminent Friday but said the teams have engaged in dialogue this week on a potential multiplayer exchange that would be headlined by Rubio and Jackson.
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy downplayed the rumor on Saturday while not denying it outright:
“I’m not denying that discussions take place,” Van Gundy told reporters, “they take place all the time. But that’s a lot different than consideration. Somebody says, ‘Hey, will you consider Ricky Rubio for Reggie Jackson?’ Well, that discussion might have taken place. And clearly we didn’t make that move.”
Van Gundy also said that he texted Jackson and let him know that they would not be trading him for Rubio this season.
There have been reports for a few weeks suggesting that the Denver Nuggets are looking to move center Jusuf Nurkic. On Friday, Stein described Nurkic as a “player who is sure to move between now and the trade deadline.” In a separate report Stein wrote:
Sources told ESPN that the Nuggets—having acknowledged that it’s difficult to accommodate both Nurkic and Nikola Jokic in the same frontcourt—have made Nurkic available and are searching out deals that would give him the Bosnian big man an opportunity to go elsewhere and start anew.
Nurkic is in his third year in the league. The 22-year-old is averaging 8.7 points and 6.2 rebounds in 18.8 minutes per game.
Miami Heat trade rumors continue to be in the news. In a chat on Friday, Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler said that the Heat are receiving more calls than they are making, and that they are weighing their options. He also discussed which of Miami’s players are likely to be involved in a trade:
I think they will move Goran Dragic. I am not sold they’d move Hassan Whiteside unless the return was just silly.
Most of what you are hearing is coming from teams that are trying to get what Miami has, not Miami trying to make a deal.
Marc Stein reported a proposed trade for Dragic by the Orlando Magic on Friday. The Magic offered center Nikola Vucevic and a future first-round pick for the 30-year-old point guard. Trading for Vucevic, however, may not make sense for the Heat who already have a quality center in Hassan Whiteside. Vucevic is averaging 13.7 points and 9.9 rebounds in 28.1 minutes per game.
On Friday, Dragic reiterated his desire to stay in Miami:
I feel really good here. I feel like I’m in the right spot. The city is awesome, the fans are great, the organization is the top organization in the league. My family, they’re feeling amazing, they love the city. Of course, I want to stay here.
Several teams have expressed interest in Phoenix Suns forward P.J. Tucker. On Friday, Stein reported that the Los Angeles Clippers had offered a future second-round pick for Tucker, but the Suns are holding out for a first-rounder. It had previously been reported that the New York Knicks were interested in the defensive specialist.
John Gambadoro of Arizona Sports wrote that the Clippers, Chicago Bulls, Cleveland Cavaliers, Timberwolves, and Atlanta Hawks all have expressed interested in acquiring Tucker, who is on the final year of a 3-year, $16 million contract and will be an unrestricted free agent after this season. He added that the Suns value Tucker and would not be likely to give him away for anything less than a first-round pick or a solid young player.
We’re about a month away from the February 23 trade deadline. Check back next week for all the latest NBA trade rumors.