By: Jonah Sprinkel
My name is Jonah Sprinkel and I am extremely excited to be joining the team here at On The Prowl.
I would say that I am Minnesota born and raised, however that would only be a half truth. I was born in Minnesota but I spent the majority of my childhood and teenage years living overseas. This did not deter the love and passion I hold for sports, especially for my home teams.
I can vividly remember my Wally Szczerbiak, Latrell Sprewell and of course Kevin Garnett jerseys. Throw in my Torii Hunter, Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss jerseys and it's very apparent that Minnesota has always been home.
This love of sports has transformed into a career path. I have recently been accepted to the University of Minnesota where I will pursue a degree in Journalism. From there I hope to one day cover the NBA for a living.
But enough about me, you're mostly likely here as a avid Wolves fan looking for an update on your favorite team. Let's get to it.
Rubio trade talk
Yesterday, Marc Stein of ESPN tweeted out Timberwolves related news that, in my opinion, is slightly surprising. The Detroit Pistons are having talks with the Wolves regarding a Ricky Rubio - Reggie Jackson trade.
Early in the week Wolves fans saw a Rubio centric report from Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Sources had informed "Woj" of the Timberwolves desire to move Rubio in favor of a "bridge-guard." Moving forward, said "bridge-guard" would start for the team until head coach Tom Thibodeau decides that rookie Kris Dunn is ready to take over the starting duties.
Personally, I find this idea to be somewhat backwards. I understand the idea that Kris Dunn will be the starter one day. I'm comfortable with that. However, my problem arises with the team wanting to move Rubio.
Ricky Rubio is a flawed starting point guard. He can't shoot, plain and simple. Wolves fans know this as well as anyone. But, he does everything else extremely well. The Spaniard has proven to be an above average perimeter defender, a gifted passer, floor general and most of all, a leader, albeit a quiet one. What Rubio lacks on the scoring side of the ball, he more than makes up for with the remainder of his game.
Rubio's contract is also an area of positivity. Next year he is due to make $14.1 million; $14.8 million the year after that before becoming a free agent.
All of this adds up to what I believe a "bridge-guard" should be.
Reggie Jackson is not this "bridge-guard."
Jackson is currently in the second year of a five year, $80 million deal. Over the course of the next three seasons Jackson is owed 16, 17 and 18 million dollars per season. Hardly a bargain of a deal, especially with extensions for Andrew Wiggins and Zach LaVine looming.
I have a theory in why Thibodeau wants to add a player like Reggie Jackson to this squad. While coaching in Chicago, Thibodeau's offense was focused on Derrick Rose running the pick and roll. Jackson is very good out of the pick and roll because he is a shooter, though not a polished one. Rubio on the other hand is limited by the pick and roll simply because he cannot shoot out of it. By swapping these two players it allows Thibodeau to implement more of the pick and roll.
Jackson, like the Timberwolves big three, is a high usage player, a player who demands the ball. Of him, Towns, Wiggins and LaVine, he has the highest usage at 28.6. Adding another player who is considered by most to be a below average shooter while dominating the ball does not seem like it would lead to any sort of success. On top of that, Jackson's net rating sits at a poor -7.6.
All in all, Reggie Jackson is not the player that this team needs, nor the one that it deserves.
During the time of this writing Detroit Pistons head coach, Stan Van Gundy, was asked about the rumors regarding Jackson. He was quoted as saying, "I texted Reggie and just said, 'This is crazy season and we're not trading you for Ricky Rubio.' That was it. I don't normally address it, but the fact that it was out there and it concerned his agent enough to call, I addressed it."
In all seriousness this should put the kibosh of any future rumors regarding these two players. Though crazier things have happened, Wolves fans everywhere should rest easy knowing that our dear Ricky Rubio is not going anywhere. Yet.