David Goldman/Associated Press
The 28-year-old has spent the last two seasons with the Utah Jazz but performed inconsistently. His game has never been the best fit for head coach Quin Snyder’s structured system, though he has made incremental adjustments to improve his shooting.
“It’s been a different type of game,” Rubio told reporters last December. “It’s something I have to get used to and it’s taken more time than we thought. But at some point, it’s all going to click and we’re going to get the chemistry down. It has to be a balance between individual and teamwork.”
Rubio had never averaged fewer than 7.3 assists over the course of a season before 2017-18 and averaged at least eight in five of his first six years. An increased focus on being aggressive shooting the ball helped a little, with the Spaniard shooting 40.4 from the floor on 10.7 attempts per game in 2018-19.
“The system is different, and that takes some getting used to,” Rubio said. “But more than the system is the type of players in the system. It’s more about IQ than physicality. In this system, everyone tries to make the right play at every time. I like it here.”
The Jazz moved in a different direction when they traded for Mike Conley before the draft, leaving Rubio to hit the open market. He found a suitor in Phoenix.
Rubio will look to play in a more open system with the Suns, who, in all likelihood, will attempt to get the ball in his hands more on pick-and-roll plays and feed Devin Booker.
Phoenix was in desperate need of a proven point guard after Booker was forced into service as the primary playmaker for stretches in 2018-19. Rubio should be a good fit alongside Booker in the backcourt since he will allow his younger counterpart to remain the top scoring option.