Suns’ Ricky Rubio on Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton: ‘I can help them reach the level they deserve’

Ricky Rubio is ready for his new opportunity.

The 28-year-old signed a three-year, $51 million contract with the Suns this summer. He said he’s looking forward to sharing the court with Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, Phoenix’s two young stars.

“I can help them reach the level they deserve,” Rubio said, via the team’s official website. “Deandre, Devin Booker, I’ve been talking to them the last couple days and they’re really excited, too. Can’t wait to jump on the court and start working with them.”

Rubio, a true point guard, spent the last two seasons with the Jazz, where he averaged 12.9 points and 5.7 assists in 145 total games. He originally was selected by the Timberwolves with the No. 5 pick in the 2009 draft and spent the first six years of his career in Minnesota.  

Suns coach Monty Williams said the addition of Rubio will make his job easier.

“We have a guy in Ricky that’s going to make everybody more efficient than they have been,” Williams said. “As a coach, you want to have someone on the floor that can manage the game from the point guard position and Ricky certainly does that for us. I think he’s going to make me a better coach. Our conversations have been really thought provoking just to hear how he sees the game.”

Booker and Ayton are the centerpieces of Phoenix’s developing core. The team, however, finished 2018-19 with a 19-63 record and missed the playoffs for a ninth straight season.

The Suns fired coach Igor Kokoskov in April after one year and hired Williams to replace him.

“I think Devin’s going to be more efficient than he’s been and Devin has been a really good player,” Williams said. “I think when you have a point guard like Ricky, nothing in the NBA is easy, but a point guard can make things easier when you’re facing defenses that try to take you out every night. Which is what Devin faces.”

The Suns picked wing Cameron Johnson and guard Ty Jerome in the first round of the 2019 draft.