Timberwolves trade Ricky Rubio to Jazz for first-round pick

The Timberwolves made their second major trade of the offseason Friday, sending point guard Ricky Rubio to the Jazz for a first-round pick.

Utah needed to use $16 million in their salary cap that expired Friday night. In return, Minnesota received Utah’s 2018 first-round pick, via the Thunder, which is top-14 pick protected.

Minnesota acquired Jimmy Butler from the Bulls during last week’s draft. The Timberwolves also received the No. 16 pick in that deal, which they used on Creighton center Justin Patton.

With the Jazz likely to lose Gordon Hayward in free agency, and now George Hill, they could be ready to build for the future. Rubio, 26, averaged 11.1 points and 9.1 assists per game last season.

The Timberwolves, who are clearly trying to contend now, will be in search of a point guard. Guys like Hill, Kyle Lowry and Jeff Teague could all be suitable targets.

Teague is a decent scorer and passer who will keep the offense moving. He’s started at least 72 games in each of the past five seasons, so you know he’ll be on the floor.

Unfortunately for Teague, he’ll have a tough time commanding a huge contract in this market. There isn’t a huge desire for point guards, and the ones above him on this list are far more coveted. He’s not quite on the same level as a difference-maker.

The Paul George situation throws everything surrounding the Pacers into a state of flux, so don’t be surprised if Teague is on the move.browns_043

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