Timberwolves

How does Wesley Matthews for Ricky Rubio sound?

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is in desperate need of a point guard for his team, and apparently they’ve had discussions about the availability of Ricky Rubio.

The Mavs also reportedly have their sights set on point guard Frank Ntilikina in the upcoming NBA Draft, but Ntilikina may not be on the board when Dallas is on the clock with the ninth pick.

There’s been speculation that Minnesota could end up trading down in the draft, while Dallas probably needs to trade up if they indeed want Ntilikina.

The Timberwolves have a young and exciting roster, but they lack a veteran presence and need an identity on defense. So let’s propose this: Rubio and the No. 7 pick, for Wesley Matthews and the No. 9 pick.

Why the deal makes sense

Matthews – who will be 31 next season – is a shooting guard who has averaged just a tick under 14 points per game in his eight-year career. He’s 6-foot-5, and is a 38 percent 3-point shooter as a pro.

But it’s his defense that makes him such a solid player.

He was arguably Dallas’ best defender last season and head coach Tom Thibodeau would love to have a player of Matthews’ caliber. With Zach LaVine recovering from ACL surgery, it’s likely Minnesota would have LaVine come off the bench to begin the season.

Haley O’Shaughnessy of The Ringer.com also believes the two can make it work:

The Wolves draft at No. 7. The Mavs have the cap space to take on Rubio and trade up — and for the Wolves, who likely want to avoid packaging someone of Zach LaVine’s caliber and desperately need a veteran presence, swapping seven and Rubio for nine and a sweetener might make sense if the return is worthwhile.

Matthews is under contract through 2019 and will make roughly $18 million each of the next two seasons. If the Timberwolves feel Kris Dunn and Tyus Jones can run the offense, this deal would make a ton a sense for both teams.

GoMN

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