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NBA Trade Rumors: Ricky Rubio and the fallacy of the "Triangle guard"

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We don't actually know what players Phil Jackson wants.

Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Adrian Wojnaroski dropped ... not a Woj bomb, per se, but more like a Woj firecracker that could eventually set fire to your back yard:

Minnesota hasn't been actively searching for a trade for point guard Ricky Rubio this week, but that is likely to change this summer, league sources told The Vertical.

Minnesota may start canvassing the market for a better shooting point guard to pair with young stars Karl Anthony-Towns and Andrew Wiggins. One NBA coach who has long been enamored with Rubio, league sources said: Milwaukee's Jason Kidd. The New York Knicks' desire to find a point guard could lead them to Rubio, too.

So maaaaaaaybe the Knicks look into Ricky Rubio this summer? The Spanish point guard would be one of the most divisive players on the trade market. He can't shoot at all (36.1 FG%), yet is in the midst of his finest season (18.1 PER, .122 win shares per 48 minutes). He's still somehow only 25 years old, but is signed to roughly $14 million per season until 2019(!!!). That is a lot to consider.

But let's forget all that for a moment and get to everyone's favorite question: IS HE A TRIANGLE POINT GUARD???? He's tall (good!), but lacks a jumper (bad!). Those shooting difficulties make him a non-starter in Knicks president Phil Jackson's beloved offense, right?

If we learned one thing from the Derek Fisher firing, it is that Phil has a far broader definition of a Triangle player than fans imagined. Remember the Fisher-Rajon Rondo kerfuffle, when questioned his ability to thrive in the Triangle and Fisher agreed in the most hilariously condescending way possible? Phil's response was telling:

That statement is terrifying viewed through the lens of the impending free agent Rondo, a player who sucks and still reeks of dookie-fertilized shamrock, but what if we apply the same logic to Rubio? Ricky is the kind of player people think Rondo is -- a point guard who makes teammates better despite his inability to shoot. Just check out their on/off numbers this season:

  • Rubio: +9.6 points per 100 possessions!!!
  • Rondo: -3.1 points per 100 possessions.

Now let's get back to the other stuff. That Rubio contract is super long, and I have no idea how desperately the Wolves want to move it. The Knicks need a point guard for next season, but they also want to keep their powder dry for the 2017 free agent bonanza.

Maybe the Knicks don't want to commit three years to Ricky Rubio. Maybe they will be scared off by Minnesota's asking price. But it's high time we fans stop pretending we know exactly the kind of players Phil Jackson will pursue, now and in the offseason.