Ricky Rubio traded to Utah for 1st-round pick

Does acquiring Ricky Rubio help or hurt Utah's chances of keeping Gordon Hayward?

Miami, Boston and Utah are now the three teams in the race for the 6-foot-8 forward.

Utah traded for Minnesota Timberwolves starting point guard Ricky Rubio, The Tribune first reported on Friday afternoon before the Jazz officially announced the trade.

There are a lot of factors and parties to think about in this Rubio deal, and many of them come outside of the basic two teams that obviously were the two sides of the deal. It's a potentially risky decision, as Teague isn't almost as strong of a defender as Rubio, but the spacing concerns a Rubio-Butler-Andrew Wiggins backcourt presented sent Minnesota in a different direction. Assuming Snyder tolerates his occasional freelancing, Rubio's ability to generate steals should be a positive addition. He is in the same age range as Utah's other core players, including Rudy Gobert, Derrick Favors, Dante Exum and Rodney Hood. As a longtime advanced stats darling, the value Rubio brings to his new team won't as much be seen in highlight plays as it will over the long-term results.

The Timberwolves have been shopping Rubio for years, seemingly always in search of a better option than the good-but-not-great Spaniard who has never quite lived up to his pre-draft hype.

The 36-year-old Korver, though, remains one of the best outside shooters in league history and has expressed an interest in staying with Cleveland after making it to the finals for the first time in his career last season. Rubio isn't a a good shooter.

The question now is, will this move be enough to retain Hayward?

This trade effectively ends the tenure of George Hill with the Jazz. Hill and Hayward were said to be close last season, but reports from Jody Genessy of the Deseret News suggest that Rubio would be an adequate "Plan B" for the sought-after forward.

In adding Rubio, the Jazz obtain a talented guard on a very reasonable contract.

The Jazz will welcome Rubio into their open salary space of $16 million before Saturday as a means to find a potential replacement for George Hill, who enters free agency as one of the top point guards on the market. By absorbing Rubio into that cap space, the Jazz will likely have an easier time re-signing Joe Ingles than they would have had both Hill and Hayward opted to return to Utah. It seems like a done deal, barring a last second change of heart. He played in 75 games, which is big for the Jazz, who were among the most injured teams in the league this past season.

It is unclear how this move will affect Gordon Hayward's decision whether to re-sign with the Jazz.

Other targets, if the Wolves can clear room, include J.J. Redick and Paul Millsap.


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