3 reasons why Ricky Rubio is a perfect fit with the Minnesota Timberwolves

Ricky Rubio is coming back to the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Ricky Rubio is coming back to the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /
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Minnesota Timberwolves,
Minnesota Timberwolves, /

Why Ricky Rubio is perfect for the Minnesota Timberwolves: Leadership, roster fit

Set aside the public relations benefit and the sentimental, tugging-at-your-heartsrings portion of Rubio’s reacquisition.

That’s all a bonus. But there is still a broader impact that Ricky Rubio will have on this Timberwolves roster.

Part of it is related to the actual on-court impact and fit that Rubio has on young, dynamic, ball-dominant wings. Check this out:

The Ringer’s Dan Devine covered this angle as well, mentioning the positive points per 100 possessions that he Rubio + Mitchell Jazz and Rubio + Booker Suns had.

This is a combination of fit — Rubio covers defensive deficiencies and, while not as flashy as he was as a teenager, is still an otherworldly and subtly creative passer — and leadership. Rubio can his teammates on both ends of the floor with his style of play and clear expectations for his running mates.

While Russell is a great passer, he’ll also be looking to get his own shots, and especially in the pick-and-roll, where Towns would be the other primary beneficiary. Rubio will be able to get Edwards, Culver, and Okogie the ball in advantageous positions, and while nobody in that trio is anything close to the shooter that Booker is, there are clear comparisons to be drawn between Edwards and Mitchell in terms of their respective prospect profiles.

This side of Russell and Towns, this roster was entirely lacking in playmakers. Culver has that upside, but he was genuinely miserable with the ball in his hands last year. Okogie is a cutter and dangerous in transition. Edwards is far more scorer than playmaker. Jake Layman is more in the mold of Okogie on offense with a slightly more reliable outside shot.

Rubio shores up the playmaking element of the offense, and the Wolves now have three creative ballhandlers in Russell, Rubio, and Towns. They also have a pair of above-average defenders in Rubio and Okogie and some hope that Layman and Culver can be decent on that end of the floor, too.

Ultimately, it’s easy to see why Gersson Rosas made this deal. Rubio fits the cap sheet, improves the defense, and should elevate the game of the Wolves’ group of young wings.

Next. Grading all 3 Wolves picks from the NBA Draft. dark

Now, will it translate to wins and a chance at a playoff spot come 2021? To be determined, but it sure feels as though Rosas and Co. are on the right track.