Minnesota Timberwolves grades: Musical point guards

Report: Timberwolves sign point guard Teague

Teague will be a better fit with this roster but is certainly a downgrade in some categories from Rubio. When combined with Andrew Wiggins' breathtakingly bad clutch free-throw shooting numbers, that led opponents to hack him late in games.

Rubio had been with the Timberwolves since 2009, so the deal to the Jazz will come as a bit of a culture shock for the point guard, just weeks after the team acquired a big star in Jimmy Butler from the Chicago Bulls to add to their young lineup. That lack of shooting at point guard is compounded by Tom Thibodeau's insistence on playing two traditional bigs. Minnesota nearly certainly will pursue a veteran point guard.

Setting salaries aside, Hill is preferable to Rubio given his shooting ability and his willingness and comfort ceding lead ball-handling duties to Utah's wings. Rubio hasn't had an offense capable of maximizing his strengths as much as Quin Snyder's system can.

To help depress those who lost in the deal even more and make those who won feel even better about themselves, here are five winners and losers from the Rubio deal to the Jazz. He will remain a tradeable player on a contract that's about league average for a starter depending on what happens with Hill and Dante Exum.

The agreement was reached after the Wolves dealt Ricky Rubio.

When Hill rejected Utah's renegotiate and extend offer in February, the signal was clear that re-signing him would be hard.




Of course, the greater implication of this trade will come in how it affects free agent superstar Gordon Hayward. This is a creative use of cap space and excess draft picks to give the team insurance. Once free agency began at midnight on July 1, the Wolves quickly agreed to a three-year, $57 million deal with former Indiana Pacers point guard Jeff Teague, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.

Minnesota Timberwolves coach/president of basketball operations Tom Thibodeau and GM Scott Layden took a conservative approach to free agency in their first days running the team past year, and it essentially backfired on them.

At 6-foot-4, Rubio is one of the best defensive point guards in the National Basketball Association. A person with direct knowledge of the trade says Rubio was sent to the Jazz for a first-round pick in the 2018 draft.

Rubio has been on the trading block for months and he'll return to it immediately again if the Jazz re-sign Hill.

The talent pool as far as point guards is concerned is pretty strong, even after Chris Paul left the market and officially landed in Houston with the Rockets in a trade earlier this week.

"You kind of take it for granted how good he is until you watch him play, then you're like, 'Damn, ' " Beasley said.

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