The Minnesota Timberwolves are attempting to land a spot in the NBA playoffs this season. In the division dominated by the Golden State Warriors, the Karl-Anthony Towns squad find themselves battling it out with other struggling teams like the Sacramento Kings, Los Angeles Clippers and Houston Rockets. While the said teams rely on the veteran presence of Rajon Rondo and DeMarcus Cousins; DeAndre Jordan and Chris Paul; and James Harden and Dwight Howard, the Minnesota Timberwolves looks into the young Andrew Wiggins and rookie Towns for support. Hence, a crucial roster questions comes to mind: Will Ricky Rubio be up for trade?
The recent developments in the Minnesota Timberwolves roster gives a resounding no in response to the NBA trade rumors surrounding Rubio. To finally settle the issue, the Kevin Garnet team locked in the Spanish star in the next four years. Rubio, who exited the 2009 NBA Draft as the fifth overall pick, signed a $55 million contract extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves. The deal secures his future with the Zach LaVine team in the next four years.
However, Rubio shared that the contract did not come easy. Amid the claims that the Minnesota Timberwolves never truly wanted to trade him, the basketball star admitted that he was aware of the close calls he had in terms of exiting the team. Despite the NBA trade rumors, Rubio now feels confident of his future with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
"When you are signed to a contract, you can not control (the situation)," Rubio stated. He added, "Before the All-Star break, they spoke the possibility of trading me because teams want to change things if they're not doing well. Now I feel comfortable and I think they won't trade me anywhere."
Although the Minnesota Timberwolves are at the bottom of the Western Conference led by Stephen Curry, Rubio remains optimistic of the potential of his team. Citing that they are still a "young team," the Spanish star noted that the presence of players like Towns, LaVine and Wiggins makes the Minnesota Timberwolves promising playoffs contenders soon.
Rubio said, "We have a great future. We're a young team that has high expectations. But there have been young teams in this organization that have not made it. We have the pieces to be in the playoffs."
In the recent games, the Minnesota Timberwolves are seen to notably rely more on the younger stars. Unlike the Los Angeles Lakers, in which Byron Scott prefers to keep D'Angelo Russell, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr at a safe distance, the Kevin Garnet team pushes its new players to the spotlight.
"Wiggins and [Karl-Anthony Towns] are our weapons right now," noted Rubio. He added, "[Zach] LaVine, too. But at the end of the game, we know Wigs will be the guy who steps up. At the same time, all of us have to be ready. In Oklahoma City, the play was for him. I got the shot, but he made the play. Sometimes it will be him taking the shot. Sometimes it won't be. But he's going to be the one making the play."