One of the key reasons the Minnesota Timberwolves acquired Ricky Rubio on draft night was to provide leadership and a mentor to the team’s young guards, including Anthony Edwards.
Fans were excited when they heard that the former Wolves point guard would be making his return to the team that drafted him. After spending two years in Utah with the Jazz and a year in Phoenix with the Suns, he returns to Minneapolis to join a young Wolves team.
Rubio isn’t a star, but he’s a true point guard and someone who will make the game easier for the other players. Most importantly, he will be the veteran the team needs and hopefully become a mentor to Anthony Edwards.
There are reasons why Rubio will improve the team on the court, such as his passing and defense, as noted by our own Ben Beecken, but it will be even more interesting to see how he will be a leader to Edwards on and off the court.
One thing that Edwards was dinged for the in pre-draft process was his lack of on-court hustle and motor, sparking concerns that he could be Wiggins 2.0.
Hopefully, Rubio can bring an energy that will rub off on him like the Spanish point guard rubbed off on his teammates in the past.
Over the course of Rubio’s career, he’s averaged 1.9 steals per game with aggressive yet sound defense. He makes his teammates better on offense, too, averaging 7.8 assists per game for his career.
One of Rubio’s main roles for the Wolves will be as a motivator. He pushes his teammates to play better and gives them opportunities to improve their shooting and that is what a young 19-year-old needs in his first season in the NBA.
Exactly how the Rubio acquisition will play out is unknown, but the reasons the Wolves acquired him are numerous, and it only cost them James Johnson while they picked up an extra first-round pick in the process.