Timberwolves reacquire Ricky Rubio in multi-team deal
The Minnesota Timberwolves acquired point guard Ricky Rubio and the draft rights to Jaden McDaniels (28th overall pick) from the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for forward James Johnson, the draft rights to Aleksej Pokuševski (17th overall) and Minnesota’s second-round pick in 2024, the Timberwolves announced on Friday.
Minnesota also received the draft rights to Leandro Bolmaro (23rd overall) from the New York Knicks in exchange for the draft rights to Mathias Lessort (50th overall in the 2017 NBA Draft) and the Detroit Pistons’ second-round pick in 2023.
The Knicks also got the draft rights to Immanuel Quickley (25th overall pick) from Oklahoma City in the multi-layered deal.
“Ricky is a great fit to what we are building here in Minneapolis and we are thrilled to welcome him back to the Timberwolves organization,” Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations Gersson Rosas said in statement. “He will be a solid addition to our core in All-Star center Karl-Anthony Towns, All-Star guard D’Angelo Russell and first overall pick Anthony Edwards.
… thank you Phoenix. It was a fun year. You guys have something real good cooking. Gonna miss my dawgs. ValleyBoyz 🤙🏽 Thanks to everyone for the support thru the ups and downs. Undefeated in the bubble 8-0 pic.twitter.com/BY1OKBtamu
— Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) November 19, 2020
“Ricky is an elite playmaker and someone who will boost our defense and bring a veteran presence to our team.”
Rubio, 30, was drafted fifth overall by the Timberwolves in 2009, but played with his professional team in Spain for the next two seasons, arriving in Minneapolis in 2011. He went on to average 10.3 points, 8.5 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game over six seasons (353 contests) for Minnesota. He is among the top 10 in numerous franchise categories including being ranked second in assists (2,991), second in steals (747) and 10th in games played (353).
Rubio was traded to the Utah Jazz in June 2017.
He signed a three-year, $51 million deal with Phoenix last offseason. He averaged 13 points, 8.8 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game for the Suns this season.
However, Rubio was traded to Oklahoma City on Monday as part of a deal in which Phoenix also dealt Kelly Oubre Jr., Ty Jerome, Jalen Lecque and a future first-round pick for 10-time All-Star guard Chris Paul and forward Abdel Nader. Oubre was promptly traded to the Golden State Warriors on Thursday.
The 20-year-old Bolmaro, a 6-6 forward, played his first season with FC Barcelona’s primary team for the 2019-20 season, averaging 4.4 points and 0.9 steals in 12.9 minutes in seven games in Spain’s top pro league.
McDaniels, a 6-9 forward, joins the Timberwolves after spending one season at the University of Washington, where he averaged 13.0 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists and 1.4 blocks per game for the Huskies.
The 33-year-old Johnson, who was originally acquired by the Wolves in a three-team deal from the Miami Heat on Feb. 6, averaged 12 points, 4.7 rebounds and 3.8 assists per game in 14 games with Minnesota.
Pokuševski, a 7-foot forward, averaged 10.8 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.8 blocks and 1.3 steals in 22.6 minutes in 11 games with Olympiacos B in the Greek Second Division.
The 18-year-old Lessort, who Minnesota acquired from the Los Angeles Clippers on Thursday, currently plays for AS Monaco in the LNB Pro A League (France). The 6-foot-9 forward has averaged 7.5 points on 59.0% shooting and 4.9 rebounds in seven professional seasons overseas.
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