A fan base’s favorite son is coming home.
Ricky Rubio is a Timberwolf again.
Three years after he was traded away, the franchise’s once prodigal point guard was re-acquired Wednesday in a draft-night trade with Oklahoma City that sent Minnesota’s No. 17 pick — which originally belonged to the Thunder — back to Oklahoma City in exchange for Rubio and the No. 25 and No. 28 selections.
The 30-year-old Spaniard, who Minnesota selected fifth overall back in 2009, gives the Wolves added backcourt depth. While he could potentially play alongside D’Angelo Russell, he could also serve as the Wolves’ backup point guard.
He’ll return to a roster and front office that looks entirely different than the one he left back in 2017, with the exceptions of Karl-Anthony Towns and now head coach Ryan Saunders. Perhaps this team — armed with more shooters and an up-tempo style — better fits Rubio’s style than any of the previous Wolves teams for which he played.
He is still a master distributor who can make life easier for Towns, Russell and the new No. 1 overall pick, Anthony Edwards. Rubio can also be part of the mentorship team assembled to help Edwards acclimate to NBA life.
One thing Rubio never did in his previous stint in Minnesota was win. He’s done it since, playing a big role on a pair of Utah teams that advanced to the playoffs, and helping turn around a previously struggling Phoenix organization.
Perhaps he can do the same for the team with which his career began.