• Jeremy Freed

Ricky Rubio Looking to Make the Suns Brighter


George Frey

What’s the deal? 3 Years, $51 million unrestricted signing.

What does Rubio bring to the Suns?

After Phoenix turned their Isaiah Thomas-Goran Dragic-Eric Bledsoe point guard surplus into a barren wasteland, Rubio brings maturity and stability to the position. On a team full of score-first, defend-never players, Rubio’s pass-first mentality and consistent defensive focus are a welcome addition and, in many ways, a strong fit.

What does this move mean for the Suns?

A lot more open shots for everyone! This is going to be a very different-looking roster for the Suns in 2019-20. Looking at a 1-through-5 of Rubio, Devin Booker, Mikal Bridges, Dario Saric, and DeAndre Ayton, you find some spacing, a combination of youthful upside and veteran competence, and a real path forward in the modern NBA -- not your usual discoveries in Phoenix. It’s not perfect, but it frees Booker from primary-creator responsibilities, will open up Ayton’s offensive game, and creates the potential for some excitement in the desert.

How would you grade this contract?

That all said, they paid him HOW MUCH MONEY? I know there was a run on point guards as free agency got going, but this is silly. Rubio wasn’t worth the almost-$15M that Utah decided not to pay him - he certainly isn’t worth $17M in Phoenix. I thought he’d be lucky to get $15 million total in a deal - he flipped that around and got $51 million! It’s truly bonkers. As well as I’ve spoken about what Rubio brings to Phoenix, the fact remains that HE CAN’T SHOOT. That... kinda makes him a liability. D+.

Final Thoughts

It’s not that Phoenix doesn’t have a clue, it’s just that they have no organizational philosophy. Let’s say they don’t trade down in the draft. Instead of trading #6 for Dario Saric and #11, they stay put and just take Cam Reddish. Instead of taking on Aaron Baynes and Ty Jerome, they keep their cap space clear and get ready for a low first round pick via Milwaukee in a deeper draft in 2020.

Now they have about $9 million more in cap space - they can make a run at D’Angelo Russell. They trot out Russell-Booker-Reddish-Bridges-Ayton. Which, I ask you, is preferable? The lineup helmed by the 28-year-old, cold-shooting, never gonna be an All-Star? Or the 23-year-old who was just named to his first All-Star team, and, incidentally, just led a young, up-and-coming team to the playoffs?

I don’t want to hate on Rubio. I like him. But he is entirely out of the timeline of this franchise, and will be obsolete by the end of his contract - if his shooting doesn’t render him so before. There’s just no chance he’s a solution of any length. It’s A $51 million dollar band-aid.

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