Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated’s The Crossover graded the trade between the Utah Jazz and the Minnesota Timberwolves that sent point guard Ricky Rubio to Utah for a protected first-round pick.
After looking at what the trade entailed, Golliver graded the Jazz a B+, saying, “the Jazz have taken a proactive step to acquire a proven starting-quality point guard rather than handing over the keys to Exum or their other incumbent backups. The motivation for this thinking is surely influenced by the need to pitch Hayward. It is, after all, much easier to sell an established All-Star with numerous suitors on re-signing a long-term contract without a gaping hole at the one.”
Golliver then breaks down Rubio’s game, saying, “Rubio is a woefully ineffective shooter, but he is a strong individual defender who should fit in well to the Jazz’s defense-first approach and his excellent 3.4 assist-to-turnover ratio will help his new team maximize its offensive opportunities while playing its controlled, slow-down style.”
Golliver then compares the value of Rubio to that of George Hill, where he gives the leg up to Hill, before explaining why the Jazz made the trade, saying, “By trading for Rubio early, Utah has mitigated the damage from its worst-case scenario–losing both Hayward and Hill–and improved its positioning for the Hayward derby.”
The Timberwolves got a B- for the move.
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