The Minnesota Timberwolves placed point guard Ricky Rubio back on the trade block right before the NBA trade deadline, only for talks with the Milwaukee Bucks to fall short.
This surprise turn of events came after Rubio was on the block, off it and back on again, with Marc Berman of the New York Post at one point revealing that the New York Knicks had an interest. At the end of the day, though, it was the Bucks who seemed to make the final noteworthy push to no avail, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein:
ESPN sources say Minnesota and Milwaukee engaged in fresh Ricky Rubio trade talks today but couldn’t find common ground on a deal structure
— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) February 18, 2016
It’s not simple to organize a deal featuring a star player such as Rubio.
The Timberwolves have an odd situation on their hands with Rubio, who hasn’t exactly blossomed into the superstar point guard the team thought he would be with Andrew Wiggins and Karl-Antony Towns on board. Sprinkle in fellow point guard Zach LaVine showing flashes, and Rubio’s 9.7/8.6/4.4 slash line and appeal to other teams as a guy who might flourish in a new situation made him an obvious trade target.
Milwaukee having an interest makes plenty of sense. The Bucks are a team with quite capable stars in Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jabari Parker and Greg Monroe. Point guard, though, looks like a mess with Michael Carter-Williams averaging just 11.5 points and 5.5 assists per game and the duo of Jerryd Bayless and Greivis Vasquez not providing much in the way of relief behind him.
Though this is a trade rumor involving teams with just 39 combined wins, it’s quite interesting to ponder what could have been. Rubio perhaps flourishing with the likes of Parker and Antetokounmpo around him would have had far-reaching implications on the rest of the Association.
Like every run to the deadline, though, there always seems to be that one trade that got away. It sounds like the Timberwolves and Bucks have it this year with Rubio, and how it impacts Rubio’s relationship with his team not only the rest of the way, but this summer, will be something to watch.