Ricky Rubio in a Timberwovles uniform

Ricky Rubio: An Underutilized Player With All-Star/MVP Potential 

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Throughout his professional basketball career, Ricky Rubio has been described as a player who possesses exceptional court vision and passing ability. In fact, according to DraftExpress Rubio has an “ability to deliver crisp, perfectly timed passes directly into the hands of a cutting teammate for an easy basket is uncanny… into the net for them”. Due to this, a team who owns his services should develop an offensive system where he would be the primary ball handler; and is allowed to analyze the defense to determine what is the right pass. For instance, the traditional pick and roll offense would be an ideal system for him because he can bring the ball up to the three-point line and ask for a screen. Once the pick was set Rubio can pay attention to his defender to determine the next course of action, for instance, if the defender went under the screen, Rubio can go over it and take the wide open shot. On the other hand, if the defender went over the screen, Rubio can go over it as well and drive towards the basket where he can score or pass the ball to the player next to him or to the perimeter depending on whether he was double teamed or not.

(example of a point guard in the pick & roll offense)

However, Ricky Rubio has yet to reach his full potential as an NBA player because the Minnesota Timberwolves run an offense system that does not cater to his strengths. The Timberwolves run a system where Rubio brings the ball up to the three-point line and passes it into the mid to low block or to the player next to him. Once this happens, he stands behind the three-point line as a spot up shooter which is his biggest weakness as he has a career three-point shooting percentage of 31.5 percent. As a result, the team effectively diminished his ability to pass the ball which is one of the main ways Rubio can profoundly impact a game.

Due to this, he should hope that a traditional pick and roll team like Dallas or New Orleans decides to trade for him because that is the only way he will reach his potential. If he gets traded to one of these teams, he should have a similar impact to that of James Harden with the Houston Rockets this season (potential All-Star and/or MVP candidate).

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