Kahn: Rubio is coming to Minnesota

Minnesota GM David Kahn thinks that Ricky Rubio will likely come to Minnesota in a year and a half.

“We developed a very solid relationship with his representatives, and more importantly, perhaps, his family, this past summer,” he told Abbott. “It wasn’t an issue of him having any concern about Minnesota whatsoever. I think at the end of the day he just felt that him having a couple more years in Europe would be the smart and prudent thing for him to do. He had a lot of input from his Spanish National team members, who all think he can play here, but also thought that a few more years of development would help him. I don’t have any reason not to think that’s true, either.”

I don’t know if Kahn is just toeing the company line or if he truly believes that Rubio wants to play in Minnesota, but if he really didn’t think he was ready to play in the NBA, why did he put his name into the draft in the first place? Obviously, something happened on draft night (or thereafter) that convinced Rubio that he should stay in Europe. Prior to the draft, it looked like he was a sure bet to play in the NBA this season. The only thing that changed was that he was drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves. Suddenly, he’s signing a two year contract with another team in Europe.

On paper, Rubio to Minnesota is a nice fit, but when you look at the T-Wolves’ stars — Al Jefferson and Kevin Love — a wide-open offensive attack doesn’t spring to mind. However, they are tied with the Suns for third in overall pace (98.2 possessions per game) so someone is telling these guys to push the ball. I wonder if that’s designed in part to convince Rubio to come to Minnesota.


Photo from fOTOGLIF

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

Reassessing the T-Wolves’ draft night

Given the news that Ricky Rubio plans to stay in Spain for two more years, TrueHoop’s Henry Abbott looks back at the 2009 NBA Draft to try to make sense of it all. Minnesota GM David Kahn is being criticized for taking Rubio when it was somewhat of a long shot that he’d be suiting up for the T-Wolves in 2009. Even so, drafting two point guards (Rubio and Jonny Flynn) back-to-back was…um…unorthodox, to say the least.

The truth, to me, is — in that scenario Kahn’s draft night is being judged short-term while it is really a long-term plan. (Not to mention, have you heard David Kahn talk? He is not dumb. Anyone could tell you that.)

But mainly my point is: If you are arguing he should not have taken Rubio, you need to also argue who he should have taken instead. Stephen Curry? Maybe, but you still have the two point guard problem. The same goes for Brandon Jennings. On the wing, where the Wolves have real need, some people love Demar DeRozan, I guess, or Gerald Henderson.

There is no way the Timberwolves needed another non-center big man like Jordan Hill to sit behind Kevin Love and Al Jefferson.

The point: It was tricky. There was no low-risk proposition. You either take Rubio, widely considered to be one of the two or three best prospects in the draft, or you take … someone with a higher probability of reporting to camp, but a lower ceiling as a player.

And close your eyes a moment and imagine Ricky Rubio, NBA All-Star. If ever that happens, people will then reverse engineer how he got there, and make somebody look like a genius. They don’t hand out the rights to all-stars for free, though. What they do hand out for free, however, on draft night, are the rights to players who have chances at becoming All-Stars.

I don’t agree that Stephen Curry would create a two point guard problem, not in the way that a Rubio/Flynn backcourt does. Curry is a shooter first. I think he can probably play the point, but he’s better suited off the ball in a situation where his lack of height doesn’t hurt him on the other end of the court.

If Rubio does one day become and All-Star, Kahn will be lauded for this pick, but if Rubio does not play for the T-Wolves, it is imperative that Kahn get something for the young Spaniard that will make the T-Wolves better.

It’s definitely a long-term play, but the NBA is typically a short-term business.

Rubio plans to stay in Spain for two more years

Minnesota GM David Kahn said that there was an agreement in place to bring Ricky Rubio to the NBA this season, but in the end, the young Spaniard decided that he’d rather play in his home country for two more seasons.

Yet just as the team appeared to be putting the finishing touches on a deal to bring Rubio to the NBA, Rubio came to Kahn with second thoughts.

“This morning I met with Ricky and his parents and told them that I understood Ricky’s decision,” Kahn said in a statement. “It was clear to me yesterday and in this morning’s meeting that the pressure surrounding Ricky and his family to remain in Spain for at least two more years had only intensified as the summer wore on and was weighing heavily on them.”

Shortly after Rubio was drafted, there was talk that he and his agent preferred him to play in a larger market to better take advantage of endorsement opportunities that would help offset the costs of the buyout.

In a statement issued by the Timberwolves, Rubio said he has every intention of coming to Minnesota in two years. The Wolves retain Rubio’s draft rights for one year after his contractual obligation to Barcelona ends.

I don’t really blame Rubio here. Have you seen Barcelona? It’s far more beautiful and vibrant than the Twin Cities, especially from November to March, when the NBA season is in full swing. I’m sure that the option to stay close to home and play in a comfortable situation for two more seasons was an appealing choice, especially since Rubio is still only 18 years old.

As for the T-Wolves, they will still hold his NBA rights for a year after his contract with his Barcelona team is complete. There’s no huge rush to get him to the NBA, though I’m guessing that if David Kahn could do it all over again, he might take Stephen Curry instead.

NBA Rumors: Boozer, Gay, Monta and Rubio

Mavs interested in Boozer?

Add the Dallas Mavericks to the list of NBA teams that were — and perhaps still are — interested in acquiring trade-craving Carlos Boozer.

Boozer has also been rumored to be heading to New York as part of a sign-and-trade swap with David Lee.

Rudy Gay wants to stay in Memphis.

“I know what I can do on the basketball court,” Gay said. “Everything else will work itself out. I love Memphis. Memphis has been my home. This is where I want to be. I really believe this is where I can make big things happen for myself and the Grizzlies.

“I like what’s happened this summer. There was definitely a lot of thought put into this offseason with all the changes. I guess we’ll know more about what the changes mean when the season starts.”

GM Chris Wallace and Gay’s agent, Jeff Austin, haven’t gotten into specifics about what they believe to be Gay’s market value, and that’s where things usually get sticky. We’ll see if Gay’s goodwill continues as the extension negotiations continue.

Is Monta Ellis on the trading block? Yes, according to Warriors beat writer, Tim Kawakami.

Monta Ellis in Dallas? That I can see, if Dallas would send some short-term deals and if the Warriors would be happy taking a major talent hit just to dump Monta’s money.

For all the energy the Warriors have placed in telling us that Monta is their centerpiece and all the sweat issued to dispute my reports that he’s unhappy… well, I could very much see Don Nelson working hard to trade Ellis.

The Ellis-Golden State relationship has been heading south ever since Ellis’s moped accident. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors traded him, though I could say that about anyone on the roster, other than Anthony Randolph, who appears to be untouchable.

Did GM David Kahn use a second round pick to help fund Rubio’s buyout?

On draft night, Kahn used a second-round pick to select Henk Norel, a European prospect whose selection had at least one ESPN draft analyst puzzled.

Norel also plays for DKV Joventut.

Might Kahn offer Rubio’s Spanish team $500,000 to buy out Norel’s contract, too, invite him to training camp and thus, in essence, fund $1 million of the buyout that way?

Kahn is in Spain again, trying to free Ricky.

Blogging the Bloggers: Pitino, Rubio and more

BALL DON’T LIE copped out a bit by including rookie deals, but they put together a list of “the top 10 value-for-money deals of the last decade.”

THE DAGGER discusses Rick Pitino’s weird press conference.

DIME says that Ricky Rubio will sign (or has signed?) a six-year deal with a Barcelona team. The news comes via a source from RealGM. Meanwhile, the WORLDWIDE LEADER says it’s not a done deal yet.

SPORTSBYBROOKS tells the story of a couple of Wisconsin radio guys who are urging Packer fans to donate all those Favre jerseys to the homeless.

Related Posts