Ricky Rubio is the perfect point guard for the Phoenix Suns

Phoenix Suns Ricky Rubio Devin Booker (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images)
Phoenix Suns Ricky Rubio Devin Booker (Photo by Michael Gonzales/NBAE via Getty Images) /
5 of 5
Ricky Rubio Phoenix Suns (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
Ricky Rubio Phoenix Suns (Photo by Alex Goodlett/Getty Images) /

He is still a dynamic passer

The Phoenix Suns and Utah Jazz were right next to each other in Pace (an estimation of possessions per 48 minutes) last season and both a hair above middle of the pack with Phoenix 12th in the league at 100.5 and Utah 13th at 100.3 (the Atlanta Hawks led the league at 103.9 – which makes sense sine they added Trae Young – although fascinatingly, the Golden State Warriors were 10th at 100.9 – a sign of their incredible shooting and not speed of play).

The crazy thing about that statistic is that the Suns achieved that number without a legitimate point guard all season, whereas the Jazz had Rubio, and for part of the year, Dante Exum.

Phoenix Suns
Phoenix Suns /

Phoenix Suns

Granted the Suns have a new head coach so just saying that adding Rubio to the roster makes Phoenix a much more efficient team is not entirely accurate as comparing the two systems of Igor Kokoskov and now Monty Williams might be like comparing apples to oranges.

Sure they are both fruit, but in many ways the comparisons end right there.

That said, there is no doubt that with the natural high-energy play of Booker and Oubre alone (not to mention Josh Jackson if he is retained), with a legitimate point guard on the roster, the Suns will be out on the run a lot beginning next season which would Rubio plenty of opportunity to use his excellent court vision to find the open man and: rack up those assists.

Rubio’s assist average dropped considerably in his two years with the Utah Jazz from his years in Minnesota – a sign of the more plodding play that the Jazz practice.

Dropping to 5.3 and 6.1 assists per game in 2017-18 and 2018-19 respectively, he had only averaged less than 8.0 once in his six seasons with Minnesota, and averaged a career-high 9.1 the season prior to his trade to Utah, in 2016-17.

It should too be noted that his minutes per game sunk to career-lows with the Jazz the last two seasons (which could be attributed to his defense, however, he once led the league in steals and regularly holds a higher defensive win share than offensive win share, for what it’s worth), although his per-36 averages still illustrate how different things are in Utah than Minnesota, with averages of only 6.5 and 7.9 assists per-36min in Utah, after never averaging less than 8.6 in Minnesota.

There is zero doubt that with a more up tempo offense in Phoenix, the style of play the franchise is historically known for and that fans are more familiar with, that Rubio will up his assist averages back to pre-Utah numbers, if not higher.

Must Read. The Phoenix Suns should not pursue Chris Paul. light

While there are plenty of flashier point guards potentially available this offseason to the Phoenix Suns, age, contract, and availability will be speed bumps that the organization will have to attempt to circumvent.

In many ways, Ricky Rubio is the perfect point guard for Phoenix, the combination of age (27), contract (likely around only $15M), and offense (an improved shooter and above-average passing ability, should make him a primary target, and solidifying force for the Suns this summer.