The Indiana Pacers, without question, need to make a move ahead of the NBA trade deadline on Thursday afternoon.
Larry Bird has been very open about the fact that the Pacers have been working the phone lines about potential trades. One player which has emerged in rumors connected to the Pacers is Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio.
According to reports circulating around Twitter, the Pacers have discussed Rubio with the Timberwolves.
Pacers and Wolves have talked briefly on a trade that sends Ricky Rubio to Indiana.
— LegionNBA (@MySportsLegion) February 15, 2016
Jeff Teague is another name that has been linked to the Pacers. Atlanta is considering trading him, and the Pacers have reportedly dangled George Hill in return. There is no news on what the Pacers could offer the Wolves for Rubio, but Bird could likely put together a package to get something done.
Rubio hasn’t excited the Indiana fan base as much as Teague. That being said, fans should definitely get on board with the idea of Rubio — he would be an ideal fit in the backcourt for the Pacers.
One of the biggest problems for the Pacers over the last few seasons has been the lack of a point guard who can set up the offense and get his teammates open. Rubio may not be the scoring point guard Hill or Teague could be, but he is a much better passer and a much more willing facilitator.
In the 2015-’16 season with Minnesota, Rubio has averaged 9.7 points, 8.6 assists and 4.4 rebounds per game. His defense won’t stand out too much, but he isn’t a slouch on that side of the court, either. Just 25 years old, Rubio still has plenty of room to grow and improve his game.
One thing Indiana wouldn’t have to worry about is Rubio getting shot happy and messing up the offense: Rubio attempts only 7.8 shots per game.
Frank Vogel is beginning to get his team to run more in pursuit of easy baskets. Rubio would perfectly fit into that approach. He would give the Pacers a much more dangerous offense. His ability to push the ball down the floor and make passes most point guards can’t make would help Indiana in fast-break situations.
While Rubio may not be a “flashy” name, he would still be a huge pickup at the deadline for Indiana. Depending on what it would take to get the deal done, Bird should be very aggressive in discussions with the Timberwolves.