It's been a bad stretch for Minnesota sports fans and the most popular players they pay to watch.
Two weeks ago? Zach Parise and Ryan Suter were bought out by the Wild.
Last week? Nelson Cruz was traded by the Twins.
And Thursday? Ricky Rubio, re-acquired only eight months ago, was traded again by the Wolves.
But as Wolves President Gersson Rosas said late Thursday — a clip I played on Friday's Daily Delivery podcast: "Unfortunately in all of our business, change is a reality."
If you don't see the podcast player, tap here to listen.
Fortunately for the Wolves, two previous changes involving Rubio have at least yielded promising results. And the deal Thursday for Taurean Prince, a second-round pick and valuable cap space could yield the same.
Let's follow the bouncing ball:
*In the summer of 2017, the Wolves traded Rubio after six seasons in Minnesota. It was a change-of-scenery deal that was probably necessary even if there is a part of me that wonders how nicely Rubio would have fit with the Jimmy Butler Wolves (instead of Jeff Teague).
That deal netted the Wolves a first-round pick from Utah, which they used to select Josh Okogie. While Okogie hasn't turned into a star, he has value as a defensive-minded wing and should vie for a spot in the Wolves' rotation next season. He's played the 12th-most minutes of anyone in the 2018 draft class, which is a good marker for the No. 20 pick.
*Last November, the Wolves re-acquired Rubio in a complicated draft night deal in which the principle aspects were the Wolves trading the No. 17 overall pick in that draft, James Johnson and a 2023 second-round pick (theirs via Detroit) while getting Rubio, the No. 23 pick and the No. 28 pick.
They turned those two picks into Leandro Bolmaro — a promising 20-year-old who can play both guard spots and who improved significantly at FC Barcelona last season — and Jaden McDaniels, who at No. 28 is already looking like a steal. Those two could be prominent rotation players next season if McDaniels continues his trajectory and Bolmaro comes over to the NBA as has been discussed.
*And now they traded Rubio again for Prince, a combo forward who can shoot from deep (37% for his career on 25 minutes per game) and valuable cap space that could be turned into another rotation player.
None of that takes the sting away from fans who love Rubio. But keep all this in mind when you potentially watch Okogie, Bolmaro, McDaniels, Prince and Free Agent X on the court next season for the Wolves.