The Raptors are making ground in the Eastern Conference, though Masai Ujiri & Co. continue to evaluate several scenarios ahead of the trade deadline. One of which involves Ricky Rubio, as the team would have interest in adding the point guard, sources tell FortyEightMinutes.com.
The franchise’s interest in Rubio, who will make just $17.8 million next season in the final year of his contract, is dependent on Kyle Lowry‘s situation. There are mixed reports on whether the Raptors intend to move on from Lowry and/or “make right” by him in sending the point guard to a preferred destination.
The question of whether the Raptors will be buyers or sellers at the deadline is one that they are keeping tight-chested. Though, as a rival executive explained, that’s partially because they don’t necessarily need to dive headfirst into either direction.
“Do they have to pick a lane? No,” a rival executive tells FortyEightMinutes.com. “Why would they give up leverage at this point?”
Front offices constantly evaluate a bevy of scenarios with ever-changing variables; to fully commit to a path (or let the word out once they do) before they need to isn’t wise. In Toronto’s case, the notion of buyer vs. seller may even be a silly way of looking at it. The organization could look to get slightly younger and add some additional picks while keeping a competitive team around Pascal Siakam, Fred VanVleet, and OG Anunoby (the trio is considered Toronto’s “core” moving forward).
Trading for Rubio, who turned 30 before the 2020-21 season, fits that mold. The former No. 5 overall pick was brought back to Minnesota via trade this offseason, however, through nearly half of the season, the reunion hasn’t paid dividends.
“I can be here and be positive like we’re trying to be and it’s OK. But we have the worst record in the league. We lost way too many games by 20-plus, and I don’t feel like this is building something,” Rubio said recently.
Rubio isn’t determined to leave Minnesota, another source tells FortyEightMinutes.com. The veteran remains committed to the Timberwolves and hopes that he can assist in turning things around for the franchise.