The NBA Draft is just hours away, and many blockbuster moves are likely to commence before the night is over. While the Clippers may not be atop the draft board, they will be looking to select an immediate contributor with the 25th overall pick.
Because of the Stepien rule that disallows teams to trade their first round pick in consecutive years, the Clippers would only be allowed to trade pick #25 after a player has been selected. While none of the trade targets the Clippers are currently linked to would likely require whatever young talent the team selects 25th, there was a report on Thursday morning from SKOR North's Darren Wolfson that linked the Clippers to Ricky Rubio.
In a Tweet that highlighted Rubio's 26-point performance vs. Argentina in the Olympics, Wolfson reported that the Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, and LA Clippers are among the teams currently doing 'trade due-diligence' on Rubio.
The Clippers have often had their name involved in trade rumors regarding Ricky Rubio, but nothing has ever developed. The 10-year veteran is set to make $17.8M next season in the final year of his 3-year / $51,000,000 contract.
In order to complete a deal for Rubio, the Clippers would have to attach one of Patrick Beverley, Luke Kennard, or Ivica Zubac, to Rajon Rondo. With the $7.5M left on his contract set to expire after the 2021-22 season, Rondo would be an essential salary-filler in any deal for Ricky Rubio.
While Rubio would be an obvious upgrade over Rondo, he likely would not be worth any of the other players the Clippers would need to include in such a deal. The 30-year old guard played very poorly in his 68 games with Minnesota last season, averaging just 8.6 PPG on 38.8% from the field and 30.8% from deep.
If the Clippers were to deal for Rubio, they would obviously be doing so for his playmaking ability and not his scoring, but the outgoing price certainly seems higher than the incoming value.