After nearly two years of “will he or won’t he” speculation we may finally be able to see Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio in the NBA. Rubio, who was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the No. 5 pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, has been playing for FC Barcelona for the past two seasons. And more than once the 20-year-old point guard has threatened to just stay in Spain because he didn’t want to play in Minnesota.
Apparently something has changed in Rubio’s mind, as T’Wolves general manager David Kahn is now convinced the young Spaniard will be playing for the team next year. Rubio has a built-in buyout this summer in his current six-year contract with FC Barcelona, so if there is an NBA season this fall, he could be a part of it. Barring a lockout it looks like he’s ready to make the jump according to several sources.
Unfortunately for Rubio, the situation in Minnesota is grim. The T’Wolves are currently 17-62, which puts them a half-game behind the Cleveland Cavaliers for the worst record in the NBA. The team does have several nice pieces, like All-Star forward Kevin Love and rookie small forward Wesley Johnson. And while forward Michael Beasley has done a nice job of turning his career around this season (19.0 points, 5.6 rebounds per game), the rest of the roster looks downright awful.
Minnesota doesn’t have a good perimeter scorer and is overloaded with interior players. Love, Beasley, Anthony Randolph and Darko Milicic make up a very crowded frontcourt, while Martell Webster and Wayne Ellington haven’t exactly grabbed the bull by the horns on the perimeter.
Still, I give Rubio credit if he does decide to come over, he’ll be leaving on of Europe’s most dominant teams to head to a tough situation.