If I had to make a prediction right now I would say that Ricky Rubio will play for the Minnesota Timberwolves this season. Here are 10 reasons why.
- Rubio has never, despite the wagging of the New York dogs, said he does not want to play in Minnesota. Not before the draft. Not after. Never. Any displeasure about his situation is over his draft spot, not the team, and its financial implications towards his buyout. Fun fact: The Twin Cities is the 13th largest NBA market. That doesn't even factor in that the Dakotas, half of Montana most of Iowa and a good chunk of Wisconsin that lean Wolves, as well.
- Rubio has said over and over again that his dream is to play in the NBA. Coincidentally, David Kahn has made it abundantly clear he is not trading him. If Rubio wants to realize his dream, he'll do so with the Wolves.
- Jonny Flynn is outstanding leverage. The more Rubio waits, the more Flynn gets a chance to earn the starting job. If that happens, Rubio loses all leverage. The Wolves will have the luxury of doing with him what they please without feeling pressure from the fanbase. On the flip, if Rubio comes now the job is his and Flynn is his backup. No doubt about it.
- Imagine the let down the average Wolves fan will feel if Rubio doesn't play in Minnesota next year. That's nothing compared to the let down Rubio will feel if he comes this close to playing in the greatest basketball league in the world but instead has to go jerk around in the minor leagues for another year or two, risking both injury and being exposed as less than what everyone thought he was.
- Rubio recently filed a lawsuit against his Spanish team on the grounds that they are essentially being criminally unfair in his buyout negotiations. It's hard to imagine a guy playing for a team he is in the process of suing.
- Rubio's Spanish team, DKV, is broke. They need him to leave now in order to cash in on his eventual departure. They are merely trying to hardball him out of as much money as they can get away with. Trust me, DKV wants Rubio over here as much as the Timberwolves do.
- Playing for another Euro team, which has been mentioned as an alternative, is counter productive. Even though a Euro team could pay more of his buyout than any NBA team could, such a move would still be delaying the inevitable. The inevitable is him playing in the NBA and if it's a money thing, he will never start making the big Bucks until he is in the US of A.
- The story of Yi Jianlin should ring clear as a cautionary tale to Rubio and his handlers as to what can potentially happen if you are an unproven foreign talent and you start burning bridges before you've ever even crossed one.
- The nuclear option involves Rubio not playing any organized ball anywhere this year and then being able to re-enter the NBA draft next year. It's a loophole that a player can only use once. I'm not sure how his buyout would be affected by this but from a logic standpoint, it's illogical. He went 5th overall in what was supposed to be a weak draft. Where would he go next year in what is projected to be a much stronger class after sitting out for an entire year? Could he guarantee he would go to a more favorable locale, if not the Wolves again? Also, if he did this he would officially be viewed as the biggest doucebitch in all the lands.
- Dan Fegan, his agent, doesn't get a dime until Rubio signs on the dotted line.
NBA Free Agency & Trades
Quick hits and shit.
Ben Gordon to Detroit - He's a nice player but I'm really starting to question if Detroit knows what they are doing.
Charlie Villanueva to Detroit - Unfrozen caveman lawyer. Just Google Image search it if you don't know what I mean.
Kobe Bryant stays in Los Angeles - No surprise here.
Hedo Turkoglu to Toronto - Total mercenary move on his part, but nice attempt by the Velociraptors to keep Bosh in the mix.
Vince Carter traded to Orlando - Nice consolation prize for Turkoglu but it's ultimately a downgrade and I doubt Orlando will get anywhere near the finals next year.
Ron Artest to Los Angeles - If they keep Odom they have a virtual All-Star team for their starting lineup.
Shaquille O'Neal traded to Cleveland - Considering they gave up nothing, this move is all upside. Of course, if they would have been willing to give up Wally Sczcerbiak's expiring contract for him at the trade deadline last year they could very well be champions right now. But hey, on the bright side they made some money off Wally's contract.
Trevor Ariza to Houston - They must be paying him a lot because I'm not sure what would attract him to a team that currently features Yao "My Career is Over" Ming and Tracy "My Career is Over" McGrady.
Carlos Boozer stays with Utah - I bet the Jazz are pissed he picked up his option, as they will now have a difficult time matching any serious offers made on restricted free agent Paul Milisap, a player they much prefer to Boozer's punk ass.
Jason Kidd stays in Dallas - I liked when he pretended as though was going to sign with New York. That was funny.
Rasheed Wallace to Boston - KG, Pierce, Allen and now Sheed are all in their mid-30s. Talk about a closing window.
Zach Randolph traded to Memphis - Memphis stuns me. They bring in Randolph, perhaps the league's biggest cancer and most overpaid player, and introduce him to a locker room of young players like OJ Mayo and Rudy Gay, two players who have had the 'character concern' label in their past but have so far avoided it in their short careers. They could have signed David Lee outright for less money. Astounding.