Utah Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio is set to be a free agent this summer, and while he certainly isn’t one of the top free agents on the market, he will definitely draw some interest and should be able to help a team next season.
But, in a league where traditional point guards are being phased out more and more and positions are being more nominal than anything else, is there still room for Rubio in the NBA?
Based on his floor vision and his solid defense, the answer is yes.
While most teams in the league already have a capable point guard or have one that they are grooming, there will be some suitors for Rubio this summer, so let’s break down a few of them now.
3. Phoenix Suns
I’m not sure this will be Rubio’s favorite landing spot, because the Suns finished with the worst record in the league this season, but there is some promise here, and they are in desperate need of a point guard.
Part of the reason why Phoenix was so bad this year was because of the fact that it lacked a floor general, and Rubio would definitely be able to step in and fill that role, not just for the offense, but as a veteran presence in general.
Realistically, the Suns should be better next season. They have quite a bit of young talent in the form of Deandre Ayton, Devin Booker, T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson, so a veteran point guard could go a long way in improving the group.
Rubio would instantly start for Phoenix and would make life much easier for Booker in particular, as Booker would be able to focus more on his scoring rather than also having to be a facilitator.
2. Utah Jazz
How about just staying in Utah?
The Jazz are a good basketball team, and while they are far from contenders at the current point in time, they are on their way and will be a legitimate threat with a couple of more pieces.
Utah will actually have some cap room to make a big move this summer, but given the fact that Salt Lake City is not exactly a free-agent hot spot, the Jazz might have to settle for B and C-tier free agents, like Rubio.
While Rubio doesn’t seem to be entirely sure that the Jazz will even be an option this offseason, Utah is definitely a good fit in terms of play style and the roster in general.
Of course, it would be nice for the Jazz to add some shooters, too.
1. Indiana Pacers
That brings us to the best possible fit for Rubio: the Pacers.
Indiana saw its season come to a screeching halt back in late January with Victor Oladipo went down with a season-ending quad tear, but when Oladipo is healthy, the Pacers are one of the better teams in the league.
But just imagine Indiana with a better facilitator at point guard, like Rubio, for example. It would help open up the Pacers’ offense, and would also take a lot of the load off of Oladipo, who is burdened with the task of running the show for Indy much of the time.
The Pacers have cap space and will almost certainly make a key move this summer.
While Kemba Walker is certainly the more tantalizing option, Rubio is unquestionably the more realistic one.