Jeff Teague, Timberwolves might reach 1st deal in 2017 National Basketball Association free agency

Posted July 02, 2017

The Salt Lake Tribune is reporting the Minnesota Timberwolves have shipped the 26-year-old point guard to Utah in exchange for the 2018 first-round pick the Jazz received from the Oklahoma City Thunder in the Enes Kanter trade.

With the Jazz shipping away a 2018 first-round draft pick to get Rubio, that strongly suggests they don't expect to retain veteran point guard George Hill, another free agent.

Saying he wouldn't trade anything he did in the last six years, Rubio added "What we have in Minnesota is special and you don't know that until you live there".

Last season, Teague averaged 15.3 points per game and a career-high 7.8 assists.

The Bulls bought out Rondo for $3 million Friday rather than exercise a $13.4 million option for next season.

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One of these such shooters could be Joe Ingles, a restricted free agent that should command sizable offers from other teams.

In total the Wolves have nine players (including the eventual signing of Patton) under contract, with three unrestricted free agents: Omri Casspi, Adreian Payne, and Brandon Rush, and one restricted free agent, Shabazz Muhammad. Gordon Hayward, who recently opted out of his contract, would prefer the team re-signs Hill but considers Rubio "an acceptable Plan B", Jody Gennessy of the Deseret News reports. Additionally, Rubio should serve as a good mentor for Exum, who is still extremely young and lacks the natural feel for the lead guard position that Rubio has. The deal was reported by the Associated Press just minutes after free agency's official 11 p.m. central start time.

The talent pool as far as point guards is concerned is pretty strong, even after Chris Paul left the market and officially landed in Houston with the Rockets in a trade earlier this week.

In the event Hayward leaves, head coach Quin Snyder will probably want to shift toward more of a point guard-centric attack. Teague will make roughly $19 million a year over the three years. Other targets could be Toronto all-star point guard Kyle Lowry or Utah's George Hill. He is a career 37.5 percent shooter from the field, and has made just 31.1 percent of his three-point shots. Cap space is an asset, and the Timberwolves wouldn't have had that cap space without dealing Rubio.

With the Jazz, who represent a much more talented defensive grouping of teammates than he had in Minnesota, Rubio will be able to be more aggressive knowing he has help behind him protecting the paint in Rudy Gobert.