MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Minnesota Timberwolves have reached an agreement to send point guard Ricky Rubio to the Utah Jazz to clear salary cap space for a big run in free agency.
The Timberwolves confirmed the deal Friday evening. The team will get a 2018 first-round draft pick (originally belonging to the Oklahoma City Thunder) from Utah.
Wolves owner Glen Taylor has resisted trade proposals for Rubio all week, including this morning according to sources. Something changed— Jon Krawczynski (@APkrawczynski) June 30, 2017
Rubio spent six seasons in Minnesota, delighting Wolves fans with flashy passing and an approachable nature while also suffering through losing season after losing season.
He said goodbye in an emotional Instagram post on Saturday, saying "What we have in Minnesota is special and you don't know that until you live there. You helped me to grow as a player, but more importantly as a person. ... I gave my best night after night. I'm sorry we couldn't make the playoffs because you deserve it."
Basketball brought me here 6 years ago. I didn't know much about Minnesota, and now I'm proud to call it home. You never know what this journey will bring you, and I wouldn't change a bit of mine over the last 6 years. I remember arriving here like it was yesterday. I stepped out of the airport and was overwhelmed with your support. It's something I'll never forget. What we have in Minnesota is special and you don't know that until you live there. You helped me to grow as a player, but more importantly as a person. I learned a lot, met incredible people who became part of my family and will always be in my heart.... especially you, Flip. I gave my best night after night. I'm sorry we couldn't make the playoffs because you deserve it. I am grateful to the Timberwolves organization and all of my coaches, trainers and staff. Finally, I want to thank all of the amazing teammates I was fortunate to play alongside for the last 6 years. I wish nothing but the best for you guys.
“We’d like to thank Ricky for his time in Minnesota over the course of the last six-plus years,” said Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations and Head Coach Tom Thibodeau. “Ricky has been a consummate professional over my time in Minnesota and has done tremendous things in the community. We appreciate all he’s done for the organization and wish him the best of luck in Utah.”
© 2017 Associated Press