We keep seeing trade rumors involving Ricky Rubio but nobody has answers for how a deal would get done. For example, earlier this week the Knicks and Bulls were rumored to have "strong" interest in Rubio, but the report didn't include any details – or speculation – for who might logically go to the Wolves in return.
Here's an idea that works and makes sense: Rubio and Shabazz Muhammad to the Denver Nuggets for center Jusuf Nurkic and power forward Kenneth Faried.
According to ESPN's Marc Stein, Nurkic is a lock to be traded by the Feb. 23 deadline.
"Sources say that the Nuggets, having acknowledged that Nikola Jokic and Nurkic didn't click as a pairing, are actively working to find Nurkic a new home that would give him the chance he deserves to be a front-line center."
What's more is that league sources tell Sean Devaney of Sporting News that Denver is trying to package Nurkic, possibly with Faried, for backcourt help.
The salaries would almost match up with the Nuggets taking on an extra $2.6 million, which would still keep them well below the salary cap.
One issue with a Minnesota-Denver trade is that both teams are in direct competition for the last spot in the Western Conference playoff race.
But Rubio in Denver makes sense. He would be a huge boost to a team that head coach Mike Malone called the worst defensive unit in the NBA. And Denver can't be looking for another shoot-first guard already having Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamal Murray on the roster.
But with Faried being rumored to Minnesota during the offseason and Denver's needs matching up with Minnesota's needs – a solid post defender, which Nurkic is – this deal makes sense on a number of levels.
Plus, Nurkic has some nasty to him.