“It all starts with a Ricky Rubio trade… I can tell you industry buzz indicates the Wolves are looking to acquire a veteran point guard in free agency, but it begins with trading Ricky Rubio,” says Wolfson. “Sacramento has interest in Rubio, but they also have a ton of interest in De’Aaron Fox. If the Kings end up with De’Aaron Fox, it’s unlikely they make a move on Rubio. The New York Knicks – and I know ESPN New York has reported this – I can tell you, the Knicks have genuine interest in Ricky Rubio. I have that from multiple angles. That doesn’t mean there is a logical match.” Wolfson says that he’s asked a number of NBA higher-ups, including an assistant GM, and he can’t get anybody to come up with a Knicks-Rubio trade that would make sense for both teams.
“If the Wolves can find a suitable Rubio trade partner, I am told they have interest in Jrue Holiday, Jeff Teague and George Hill,” said Wolfson. Wolfson is unsure of which free agent point guard ranks highest for Minnesota, but based on age, he thinks Jrue Holiday may be the answer; Holiday, 27, is younger than Teague (29) or Hill (31). “There is some growing sentiment in the league that he is willing to leave New Orleans if he gets max money,” Wolfson said, though he notes that Holiday’s injury history makes giving him a max contract risky.
“I know the Derrick Rose rumors are out there. I was not told Derrick Rose’s name,” said Wolfson. “I think there are other guys – in fact, I’m positive there are other guys rated on the Wolves’ free agent board higher than Derrick Rose.”
The Timberwolves drafted point guard Kris Dunn fifth overall in last year’s draft, but Dunn didn’t impress during his rookie season, averaging 3.8 points and 2.4 assists per game on 37.7 percent shooting.
If the Wolves are targeting a point guard in free agency, that could mean that they aren’t targeting one in the Draft. Perhaps they do have some faith that Dunn will become a starting-caliber point guard eventually, but don’t want to thrust him into the starting role just yet. Holiday, Hill or Teague could serve as a placeholder while Dunn develops.
A logical fit in the draft for Minnesota could be Florida State’s Jonathan Isaac, who has arguably the highest upside of any player in the draft. Isaac, 6-foot-10, projects to be either a small forward or power forward in the Draft. He’s long, athletic and has a working shooting stroke (34.8 percent three-point shooting on 2.8 attempts per game last season). However, Wolfson says that the Timberwolves have been unable to get Isaac in for a workout.
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