Blog Entry

Timberwolves brass chasing Ricky Rubio in Spain

Posted on: May 5, 2011 2:58 pm
The Minnesota Timberwolves are visiting point guard Ricky Rubio in Spain in an attempt to bring him to the NBA. Posted by Ben Golliver. ricky-rubio

It's the NBA's version of Groundhog Day: Every six weeks or so, a report out of Minnesota indicates that the Timberwolves are somehow progressing towards bringing Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio to the NBA. 

The most recent edition, courtesy of the Star-Tribune, notes that Timberwolves brass, including president David Kahn and assistant GM Tony Ronzone, are in Europe to meet with Rubio in an attempt to get something done in the short term.
A Timberwolves contingent led by David Kahn are spending the next week in Spain for this weekend's Euroleague Final Four and to continue work they intend will get Ricky Rubio signed to a NBA contract within a month. 
But his team still has Spanish league play left during a European season that, like the NBA, never seems to end. That fact could complicate the timing of a completed deal because Rubio must exercise a $1 million-plus buyout with his Barcelona team and because Rubio and his family don't want it to appear as if he already has a foot out the door to the NBA before his team's season concludes.
The paper goes on to note that if Rubio signs before May 31 he will qualify under the current rookie scale contract set-up rather than have an uncertain contract status in whatever faces rookies in a renegotiated Collective Bargaining Agreement.

But notes that the money situation really isn't all that favorable in Minnesota and Rubio needn't be in a huge rush to get things done.
The NBA rookie scale is already very restrictive — Rubio would take more than a 50 percent pay cut to leave Barcelona for the Wolves right now, and he would be locked into that rookie deal for at least three and more likely five years. The new CBA may make the rookie scale a little smaller, but the owners are far more concerned about long-term free agent deals and restricting those than the rookie scale. The owners love the rookie scale. 
If Rubio waits a third year after his draft (one more season), he is no longer subject to the NBA rookie scale. This is what Tiago Splitter did to the Spurs — he waited it out then came over on his own financial terms.
So if the money isn't a deal-maker, then it's on the Timberwolves to prove to Rubio that they are a more desirable place to ply his basketball trade than Barcelona, one of Europe's most well-regarded clubs in one of the world's most beautiful cities playing in front of countrymen, friends and family. 

The Timberwolves, meanwhile, finished with the NBA's worst record even though they won two more games than last season! The roster has more holes than a slice of swiss cheese inside a moon crater, their coach is permanently on the hot seat and, should he be unable to deliver Rubio for next season, Kahn will be too. 

Generally whenever a European star decides to come to the NBA the first words out of his mouth are: "The time was right." It's difficult to imagine how next season, with the lockout and Minnesota's outlook, could be the right time for Rubio.

Since: Jan 15, 2007
Posted on: May 6, 2011 1:54 pm

Timberwolves brass chasing Ricky Rubio in Spain

Having been to both cities, I can say quite clearly "Stay in Barcelona!". The two are not even remotely close in comparison. The beauty of the city and its people are unparalleled. Throw into the mix the proximity to other European areas and cities and there really is no argument. The sole reason for him to want to come here is the increased level of competition. But since the T-wolves have lots of issues and are still far from competitive it makes it a hard sell. I really think only New York or LA had a chance of ever signing him, maybe Miami.

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: May 6, 2011 10:48 am

Timberwolves brass chasing Ricky Rubio in Spain

Nice video. Incredible talents. You can't compare anyone to Pistol Pete. Brings back a lot of memories. I still stand by what I say though. Different time and different era. And way bigger/longer/faster players covering the floor. He would be good in todays game. But no way would he put numbers up like he did back in the day. I love Pete M. Was a hero of mine growing up as was John Havelicek.  

After watching this video though makes me want to see another player like him(Pete). Just dont think Rubio is it. And you definitely cant compare the two.

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: May 6, 2011 10:03 am

Timberwolves brass chasing Ricky Rubio in Spain

COrrection...he averaged 24 point per game for his career not 34...hit the wrong button

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: May 6, 2011 10:02 am

Timberwolves brass chasing Ricky Rubio in Spain


First... watch this video... Pete Maravich could score at any time.  Pistol Pete would be a star in todays game.  He could shoot it like no other.  His lowest shooting percentage was 41 percent.  He shot 66 % from the three point line the first year it was instituted.  He averaged 34 points per game with no three point line.  He scored 68 points in a game with no three point line. here is the link .  He was spectacular and I think we forget that...

Since: Jul 17, 2008
Posted on: May 6, 2011 8:59 am

Timberwolves brass chasing Ricky Rubio in Spain

The draft is rigged. The timberwolves have been in the league for how long? And never had a 1st Rd draft pick. I'm guessing but it might be the only team in history without a #1 selection. Unlucky? I dont think so.

As for Rubio..who cares. He is not NBA caliber. If your calling him the next Pistol Pete M. Crazy..Im not sure The great Pistol Pete would be that great in todays game. So really the only thing that will help the wolves if they pay off David(idiot) Stern for the #1. And not get caughtSurprised

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: May 6, 2011 8:02 am

Timberwolves brass chasing Ricky Rubio in Spain

HEre are Ricky Rubio's numbers in the Euro league so far...Remember he is a "Pistol Pete" clone...
2010-2011 STATS PPG: 6.5 RPG: 3.2 APG: 3.5 SPG: 1.6 2P%: 39.2% 3P%: 22.4%

Seriously!  One stat missing is this...He has started 17 of 20 games...ummm this doesn't sound like someone who is lighting it up.  Can't score.  Seriously look at his shooting percentages...3.5 assists?  I thought he was this passing god?  I was expecting like 12 -15 assists per game...I know he is only 20 but for what he is suppose to be and what he is...Save the plane ticket til he is ready

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: May 6, 2011 7:51 am

Timberwolves brass chasing Ricky Rubio in Spain

HE is a rock star in Barcelona.  Many are even questioning whether he will be good in the NBA.  Different style of play.  So leave a place that adores you and take a pay cut for 5 years?  Seriously Minnesota what could you possibly say to him?  I saw a huge piece on Ricky Rubio on ESPN last summer.  He did not sound like a person who wanted to leave anytime soon.  He really came off as a home body and didn't want to leave his parents. He seemed really comfortable with his status and place in the Spanish society.  In the NBA he is just a another player. .  Rubio is not coming to the NBA anytime soon...I say 3 more years or after the next Olympics we will find out if he is ready and can play against NBA players.  He will have to guard Rondo, Westbrook, Paul ROse etc... in the next olympics...If successful he will show up in the NBA.  Plus the NBA ISN'T PLAYING NEXT YEAR!

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2011 5:17 am

Timberwolves brass chasing Ricky Rubio in Spain

I lost my tongue.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2011 5:14 am

Timberwolves brass chasing Ricky Rubio in Spain

easy now

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: May 6, 2011 4:51 am

Timberwolves brass chasing Ricky Rubio in Spain

Trade Barcelona for Minnesota? Learn a new language and leave a job where you are a name brand? Give up half your pay as your own choice?

Are the T-wolves brass crazy?

Why would any sane person take a 50% pay cut to go live in the frozen north in a strange land? (I mean USA as a strange land to him)

Rubio has no good reasons to leave Spain right now, if ever. It makes no sense to leave a job that is stable to go to one that may be delayed in starting and paying. And he would have to learn to articulate his thoughts in a new language in the midst of a new culture. Not an eazy thing to do. Sure, he may speak English ok but it is not his native tounge and he is a big deal home in Spain.

There is no reason to think Rubio is a lock to be a star player in the NBA. Maybe, but he does not play a full game for his current team and he still does not play much man defense. Might be great in a wide open system but that is not what the T-wolves run. Nothing like it.

T-wolves just have to HOPE they are lucky enough to get the top pick and have a shot at Irving. They could draft as low as 4 and past history tilts toward the 3 or 4 spots. But, even if they miss Irving, the T-wolves MUST take a PG this year because their play at that position was among the worst in the NBA. They can't keep waiting for him when good options are on the board. And if they were to try to find a vet, it seems like the fans would have little patience if it does not work out early. It is hard to be good fans for a bad team forever. And have they been patient.

T-wolves best bet is to get lucky and get Irving then trade Rubio's rights to NYK, Spurs, Clippers, Lakers or Miami. Maybe not right after the draft but as soon as play starts for 2011/12 year. Those could be the only teams with the natural attractions to be able to lure Rubio to states in next 2 or 3 years. I hate to think of him going to any of those teams (except Clippers) but that is being honest about what could get him over here soon.

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