With the NBA trade deadline approaching Thursday, there are no guarantees the Timberwolves will make any moves. But there has been enough smoke over recent days … weeks … even months to suggest that some sort of deal is perhaps more likely than not.
Where do we stand one day out? Here’s a look at some of the significant recent reports and developments.
*The Ricky Rubio for Derrick Rose trade report first popped up Monday on ESPN, and it doesn’t seem to be losing much steam. David Aldridge reported Tuesday afternoon via Twitter, Wolves’ pursuit of Derrick Rose still very strong — “Thibs wants to do this,” says league source w/knowledge — but MIN absolutely keeping Dunn. The idea that this is more of a salary dump for the Wolves than a desire to acquire Rose — which was my guess when I wrote about the possible trade yesterday — is also gaining steam.
I thought Canis Hoopus had a salient tweet Tuesday about this whole notion of trading Rubio: For a guy he doesn’t seem to want to keep or like much as a player, Thibs has been amazingly reliant on Rubio throughout the season. The biggest fear in all of this is — regardless of whether you like or dislike Rubio as a player — is that Tom Thibodeau is stubbornly determined to have his guy (Kris Dunn) run the show when it’s far from clear that he can do it.
For all of Rubio’s weaknesses (which I’ve exhausted thousands of words chronicling) he has a great many strengths (which I’ve also exhausted thousands of words chronicling). There would also be a certain amount of sadness in seeing Rubio go — because he arrived with such promise that never quite went fulfilled either individually or with the team, and also because he’s one of those lovable local sports characters.
*For his part, though, maybe Rubio sees the writing on the wall? His midnight tweet (at least midnight here) last night read: “Never stress over what you can’t control.” And the most recent person he followed on Twitter is budding star Kristaps Porzingis — who of course plays for the Knicks, where Rubio is rumored to be traded. Porzingis already follows Rubio, so they could be having a tremendous direct message conversation right now.
Remember, too, that reports have surfaced in the past that Rubio wants to be traded — in addition, of course, to numerous trade rumors from the Wolves’ side. The clock as been ticking on this for a while; the drafting of Dunn added an alarm to it.
Rose had this to say when asked Tuesday about trade rumors: “I love it here, but it’s not up to me. It’s up to the front office. I don’t have a problem with the coaching staff. I don’t have a problem with my teammates. I love it here, like I said, but this is a business.”
*In non-Rubio trade news, some other Wolves names have surfaced. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported Tuesday evening that the Wizards have shown interest in Wolves’ sixth man Shabazz Muhammad. … The Wolves have also been linked to at least a “tepid interest” in the Bucks’ Tony Snell. You might remember he played for Thibodeau previously in Chicago. … This one is a few days old, but Iman Shumpert of the Cavs has also apparently piqued the Wolves’ interest in a potential deal.
We have another day of this to go. We’re going to make it.