Two young players are pressured to perform in the upcoming 2016-2017 NBA Season or face more criticism and even get traded from their respective teams.
Ricky Rubio of the Minnesota Timberwolves and Michael Carter-Williams of the Milwaukee Bucks, both of whom have been mentioned in NBA rumors this summer, are the top two players who must improve next season, according to a list from Gerald Bourguet of Hoops Habit.
Bourguet contends that Carter-Williams is in a tough position with the Bucks, which has made moves this summer and previous season, which makes his role in Milwaukee unclear.
“With Jason Kidd opting to play Giannis Antetokounmpo as the team’s starting point guard and Matthew Dellavedova, Jason Terry, Tyler Ennis and Rashad Vaughn all fighting for minutes, MCW has his work cut out for him before he hits restricted free agency next summer,” Bourguet wrote.
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Meanwhile, for Rubio, Bourguet claims that Rubio’s miserable jumper is still the main issue why he has remained mediocre in Minnesota.
“In a league that revolves around pace-and-space offense and three-point shooting, Rubio’s glaring flaw has dominated the conversation, overshadowing the 10.1 points, 8.3 assists, 4.3 rebounds and 2.2 steals per game he’s averaged for his career,” Bourguet added.
Both reasoning are on point with the criticism on Carter-Williams and Rubio, who have been involved in trade rumors because other teammates in their roster could be better options. Carter-Williams is likely to be moved to a bench role with the arrival of Matthew Dellavedova while Rubio will remain a starter but will be challenged by rookie Kris Dunn.
If the Bucks and Timberwolves decide to trade Carter-Williams and Rubio before the season or the trade deadline, there is also a chance that they will get players that will be more fit with their systems.
For Milwaukee, Carter-Williams has been in NBA rumors since last year with teams like the Houston Rockets reportedly interested in acquiring him. Carter-Williams still has value but exchanging him for future draft picks could also be a good idea for Milwaukee, which is still rebuilding for the future.
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For Minnesota, Rubio is linked mainly to the Philadelphia 76ers, which has lots of big men to offer. The Timberwolves and Sixers are perfect trade partners but both teams must decide it’s time to move on from their young players.
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