The two sides agreed to the move hours before free agency opened.
Former Cleveland Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin was let go days before the draft, Phil Jackson the former team president of the New York Knicks was sacked Wednesday, days before the start of Free Agency.
Ricky Rubio is headed to the Utah Jazz. Utah finished fifth in the West and made it to the second round of the playoffs, despite a slew of injuries that capped the team's sky-high ceiling.
Thibodeau had always been known to prefer point guards with more of a scoring mentality and had success with those types of players - Derrick Rose, D.J. Augustin, Nate Robinson - in Chicago. That's important given the Jazz must keep an eye on the luxury tax if they re-sign Hayward and restricted free agent Joe Ingles. He's owed $14.25 million in 2017-18 and $14.95 million in 2018-19.
The trade also means George Hill - last year's starting point guard - will move on in free agency, The Tribune has learned. It also gives Minnesota a new point guard to replace Rubio who may be a better fit for the system they'll employ. Minnesota just recently acquired All-Star guard Jimmy Butler. With Kyle Lowry, Jeff Teague and Derrick Rose all out there as potential additions to the lineup, and all of them tied to the Timberwolves in free agency news at one point or another, it looks good on the Timberwolves to rid themselves of Rubio at this time.
As of this report, Vegas Insider lists the Minnesota Timberwolves as 40 to 1 on the future odds to win the NBA Championship next year, which ranks them at sixth overall behind teams including the Rockets, Spurs, Cavs, and reigning NBA Champion Warriors. He signed a two-year deal to come to Chicago last summer.
Well, that and his $14 million per year salary, which obviously comes in significantly lower than the money Hill is seeking - expected to be in the neighborhood of $25-plus million per season.
So with basically no cap space left, the Wolves would bring back Shabazz Muhammad to be one of the backup wings and then could bring in a rumored free agent signing from the defending champion Golden State Warriors, Andre Iguodala.
The Bulls bought out Rondo for $3 million Friday rather than exercise a $13.4 million option for next season. That eats into the $32 million or so in cap space the Timberwolves can now clear if they renounce the rights to their free agents.
With the Jazz, who represent a much more talented defensive grouping of teammates than he had in Minnesota, Rubio will be able to be more aggressive knowing he has help behind him protecting the paint in Rudy Gobert.