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Report: Timberwolves bring back Ricky Rubio in trade with Thunder

OKC picks up the No. 17 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft while sending the veteran PG and two picks back to Minnesota.

Phoenix Suns guard Ricky Rubio motions to teammates during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Dallas Mavericks, Sunday, Aug. 2, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla.  Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Timberwolves acquired PG Ricky Rubio, the No. 25 pick and the No. 28 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft from the Oklahoma City Thunder for the No. 17 pick in the draft, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported. Rubio had been acquired by the Thunder in the Chris Paul trade with the Phoenix Suns. OKC wasted no time sending Rubio out to his old stomping grounds in Minnesota, where the PG began his career back in 2011.

Update: Nov. 19, 4:14 p.m. — The Timberwolves are including F James Johnson as part of the deal for Rubio, per Shams Charania.

The Thunder have been stockpiling picks all offseason and used a few of them tonight to move up in the draft. They’ll select No. 17 overall and it is being reported that the T-Wolves will select C Aleksej Pokusevski for the Thunder in the first round. Pokusevski is a 7-foot Serbian center (heard that before?) and has a wide range of skills (ahem, remind you of anybody?). I’m not saying Pokusevski is the next Nikola Jokic, but there are certainly going to be comparisons between the two players.

This is a very interesting move by the Timberwolves, who now have 4-5 starting-caliber guards. Rubio could be insurance in case the team needs to release G Malik Beasley after legal trouble. If that’s the case, Rubio will definitely be starting at PG alongside D’Angelo Russell at SG and potentially No. 1 pick Anthony Edwards playing the 3. We could also see Edwards eased into action and coming off the bench as a rookie, which would be pretty crazy for a first overall pick.