ESPN reports that Detroit Pistons and Minnesota Timberwolves have discussed a deal centered on a swap of Reggie Jackson and Ricky Rubio.
Rubio has been on the block for years, it seems, while Reggie Jackson is in just year two of a five-year deal. The Pistons were hovering around .500 with Jackson missing the first quarter of the season and have scuffled to 9-14 since his return.
It’s believed that the Wolves are willing to part with Shabazz Muhammad as an enticement to take on Rubio’s deal, but I’m not sure how much of a prospect Muhammad is at this point. He’s also about to enter restricted free agency and get much more expensive.
As for Rubio, he would be an upgrade to Jackson as a distributor and especially improve the defense at the point of attack. But, man, that defense is ugly. And it’s not like he would be joining a team of superior offensive players.
He wouldn’t be running the pick-and-roll with Karl-Anthony Towns, a player who can pick-and-pop as well as finish. He’d be running it with Andre Drummond. Meaning, essentially, the Pistons would have two absolute non-shooters in the starting lineup.
However, Rubio (and Muhammad) can do something nobody on the Pistons can do, and that is get to the free-throw line. As a relatively low-volume shot-taker, Rubio still manages to get to the line on about 46 percent of his possessions. Jackson, meanwhile, gets to the line about half the rate.
Could it work? Do the Pistons really need a change? Does this make any sense or is it just a rumor that will come to nothing?