Jazz guard Ricky Rubio says he is ‘not priority number one’ for Utah

Ricky Rubio’s time with the Jazz could be coming to an end.

The eighth-year guard finished his second season with Utah, however the team doesn’t see keeping Rubio as their top priority.

“[Utah has] let me know that I am not priority number one,” Rubio told Catalunya Ràdio, a Spanish public radio network. 

Rubio, 28, was acquired from Minnesota during the summer of 2017. He moved into the Jazz’s lineup and started all 77 games he appeared in that season, which turned out to be the best of his career — averaging 13.1 points on 41.8% shooting from the field and 35.2% from 3-point range.

In 2018-19 he led the team in assists per game (6.1) and was second in steals per game (1.3).

Rubio acknowledged he could be on his way out, and doesn’t know where he will end up as he hits the free agent market. 

“When free agency comes, now that the season is over, I can start thinking and see where I want to go, where I can go,” Rubio told the Salt Lake City media in April. “But one thing I’m gonna look [at] for sure is the best situation for me, with the coach and the team. … I want to be happy. I’m gonna try to find the best situation for me to perform and be happy.

“A lot of friends have asked me, ‘Yo, where you gonna play next year? Can I come visit?’ I don’t have any idea where I’m gonna go. A lot of things depend. If you’re LeBron [James] or [Kevin Durant], you can pick your own destiny. There’s a lot of things that depends [for me]; if [teams are] gonna need a point guard or not.”

However, general manager Dennis Lindsey has seemingly left the door open for Rubio.

“There’s a lot of scenarios I could see Ricky back. We really appreciate who he is, we think we can get him better from a health/performance standpoint, from a skill standpoint,” Lindsey said in April. “We know who he is, and we know he has Jazz DNA. He’ll have options, we’ll have options, and we’ll talk to he and his agent. But I’m really, really pleased with the level of professionalism, care factor, level of competitor that Ricky is. So there’s definitely potential for it to go forward.”

One thing Rubio did make clear was he wants to have a longer season. The Jazz lost in the first round of the Western Conference playoffs after making it to the conference semifinals the past two seasons.

“I want to play a leading role and to be on a team with playoff aspirations,” Rubio said on Catalunya Ràdio. “Marc Gasol made me envious.”