SACRAMENTO KINGS

Kings Free Agency Target Profile: Ricky Rubio

Jun 22, 2019, 8:00 AM | Updated: Jun 24, 2019, 10:08 pm
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)...
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)
(Photo by Gene Sweeney Jr./Getty Images)

Welcome to KHTK’s Kings free agency profiles! Here we’ll be breaking down some of the top players the Kings should target in free agency, analyzing their career numbers, fit with the Kings and potential downsides. We’ll also assign a priority score to each player, signifying how strongly the Kings should consider pursuing a given free agent.

The Player

Ricky Rubio is entering the ninth season of his career after spending his first six years in Minnesota Timberwolves, and the last two with the Utah Jazz. The 28-year-old point guard has averaged 11.1 points and 7.7 assists per game over his career while shooting 38.8 percent from the field, 32.2 percent from three, and 85.5 percent from the free throw line.

Utah may have aimed to re-sign Rubio in free agency, but their trade for Mike Conley allowed them to let their starting point guard walk. While he doesn’t provide eye-popping numbers on the offensive end, his defense helps make up for his lack of scoring on the other end.

The Fit

The biggest thing Rubio offers the Kings is his veteran presence in the back court. That’s something the Kings have lacked since drafting De’Aaron Fox in 2017. They did sign George Hill prior to the 2017-18 campaign, but he got traded midway through the season. Since then, the point guard corps has consisted of Fox, Frank Mason and Yogi Ferrell. Those three have seven years of NBA experience combined — two fewer than what Rubio.

Rubio is a high-IQ, pass-first point guard that plenty of teams would take as a starter. He’d be looking at a bench role in Sacramento. While he is more methodical player who wouldn’t be able to push the pace as the Kings do, Rubio could provide a nice change of pace when Fox is off the floor.

Rubio is also an above-average perimeter defender that the Kings could use off the bench. Last season, Rubio had a 103.4 defensive rating, good for 12th out of all qualifying point guards. Ferrell was the closest to that on the Kings with a 108.1 DRTG.

The Catch

Rubio has been a career starter. Of his 498 career games, he has started in 477. If he does choose to sign with the Kings, he would be backing up Fox without a chance to earn the starting role.

There are also some concerns about his shooting, and putting him on the floor with or without Fox could constrict the space the Kings want to create with their speed and shooting.

The Priority

The Kings need depth in their back court. Rubio would make for a very good back up point guard who could handle the ball on the second unit, and take some of the onus off De’Aaron Fox and Bogdan Bogdanovic to make plays on the offensive end. There isn’t a starting role for him in Sacramento though with Fox and Buddy Hield chiseled in as the starters, and he might look for a contract with a team he could start for.

Priority score: 3/10

Sacramento Kings

(Sactown Sports 1140)...
Franklin Cartoscelli

Murray Shines In Summer League Debut As Kings Roll Over Warriors

Keegan Murray and the Sacramento Kings started off Summer League on a high-note during Saturday night's win over the Golden State Warriors
22 hours ago
(NBC Sports)...
Franklin Cartoscelli

Sacramento Kings To Hire Leandro Barbosa As Assistant Coach

Kings head coach Mike Brown will be adding Golden State Warriors player development coach Leandro Barbosa to his coaching staff
22 hours ago
(Getty Images)...
Franklin Cartoscelli

2022 Free Agency: Sacramento Kings Rumors & Updates

The NBA offseason is about to enter its busiest stage as the Free Agency negotiation period is set to begin at 3:00 pm PST on Thursday. Players and teams will be able to negotiate and agree to deals once the clock strikes 3 pm, but will not be able to put pen on paper until […]
2 days ago
CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA - JANUARY 23: Kevin Huerter #3 of the Atlanta Hawks plays against the Cha...
Franklin Cartoscelli

Return of the Roar Podcast: Three-Point Shooters On Three-Point Shooters

On the latest edition of the Return of the Roar podcast, Frankie Cartoscelli and Chris Watkins break down Kings GM Monte McNair's moves to bring in guards Kevin Huerter and Malik Monk, weigh the decision to let DiVincenzo walk in free agency, lay out the current state of the roster and much more.
2 days ago
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 04: Damian Jones #30 of the Sacramento Kings attempts a shot betw...
Franklin Cartoscelli

Kings Add Monk, Lose Jones, Trade For Huerter During First 24 Hours Of Free Agency

Not even 24 hours into free agency, the Kings have a new-look roster--Although there is still plenty of work still to be done.
2 days ago
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - MARCH 09: Kevin Huerter #3 of the Atlanta Hawks takes a three point shot dur...
Franklin Cartoscelli

Sacramento Kings Acquire Kevin Huerter From Atlanta Hawks

The Sacramento Kings have acquired guard Kevin Huerter from the Atlanta Hawks in return for guard Justin Holiday, forward Moe Harkless and a future first-round pick, per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
2 days ago
Kings Free Agency Target Profile: Ricky Rubio