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Suns treated Ricky Rubio ‘like a superstar’ during free agency

The Phoenix Suns were aggressive in their pursuit of a new point guard this past summer, inking Spaniard Ricky Rubio to a three-year deal worth $51 million.

Although the deal was widely-criticized by executives around the league at the time, the monetary value certainly makes sense in hindsight.

Gina Mizell of The Athletic reported the Suns treated Rubio “like a superstar” as they courted him in free agency, which ultimately gave them the upper-hand over the Indiana Pacers:

The Suns, who had long been searching for a legitimate point guard, jumped at the opportunity to persuade Rubio. Phoenix “treated him like a superstar,” according to sources familiar with the process, guaranteeing a starting job and a valuable veteran role alongside promising young cornerstones Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton. It made a lucrative financial offer at three years, $51 million.

Rubio is averaging the most minutes in any season since the 2013-14 season, and he has started in all 37 of the games he has appeared in this year.

The 29-year-old has increased his production with the Suns, averaging 13.3 points, 9.2 assists, 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game. He is a competent playmaker with good court vision and a willingness to be a pass-first guard in a system that demands a lot of offense for Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton.

While Rubio is having one of his finer offensive seasons, he has struggled as an individual defender, registering a -0.4 defensive box plus-minus thus far.

The Suns might not regard the signing as an overpay should Rubio help lead them to the playoffs. In any case, it is not surprising Rubio ended up in Phoenix considering everything they promised him during his free agency.

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