Minnesota Timberwolves: Could Ricky Rubio be included in an Aaron Gordon trade?

Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /

The Minnesota Timberwolves are doing everything they can to once again be involved in something major at the trade deadline.

They have once again been rumored to be interested in forwards John Collins, Larry Nance Jr., and Aaron Gordon. Collins will cost the most in terms of assets, while Nance is the least splashy of the moves and could potentially have the most suitors.

Gordon is the name that has been connected to the Wolves the longest, dating all the way back to the 2020 trade deadline. Now, we have some sense that there is at least one player on Minnesota’s roster that the Magic may have serious interest in acquiring.

Minnesota Timberwolves: Could Ricky Rubio be traded for Aaron Gordon?

Multiple recent reports have linked the Magic to Wolves point guard Ricky Rubio, including Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix. (Mannix also lists the LA Clippers as potential suitors for Rubio.)

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report went so far as to suggest that the Wolves and Magic had “significant conversations” and were “nearing an agreement” on a trade package for Gordon that included Rubio and future draft capital.

The salaries match up perfectly, and the trade could be made without including any additional salaries. If the Magic required another asset, say, Jarrett Culver, the Wolves would only need to take back what amounts to a minimum salary in order to make the deal work.

The Wolves don’t have any 2021 draft picks to trade, and they can’t (and wouldn’t) include a 2022 first-round pick. Trading a heavily-protected 2023 first-rounder that could later convey into a second-rounder is a possibility, but it’s also a major risk for a player who could walk after next season.

If the Wolves traded Rubio and Culver for Gordon and one of their smaller contracts, the Wolves may even be able to get a future pick back. Orlando has three second-round picks over the next two drafts, so they could certainly play that game.

This whole thing hinges on the Magic’s level of interest in a piece other than Rubio. Likely, that would be Culver, but it could also be Josh Okogie.

Otherwise, the Wolves would have to give up more precious draft capital for what could end up being a one-season rental and a handful of meaningless games at the end of the current campaign.

Then again, there’s also Rubio’s impact on the Wolves’ young players, and most notably, Anthony Edwards, who described Rubio as the best leader he’s been around in his entire life.

Gersson Rosas has a week to keep deliberating. Then again, there’s always the offseason. A swap of expiring contracts could seem just as enticing at that point and would allow Rubio some time to continue rehabbing his trade value.

Next. Should the Wolves trade Jaden McDaniels?. dark

Stay tuned. As we’ve learned through the first 19 months of Rosas’ tenure, anything can happen.