Ever since the Minnesota Timberwolves made him the fifth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, Ricky Rubio has never indicated that he ever intends to don a Timberwolf uniform.
Ricky Rubio is a star in Europe, making good money, soaking up the sun rays, and above all, winning a lot more than he could ever hope to do so in Minny.
It’s hasn’t all been positive, though, but as Rubio has experienced personal struggles on the basketball court. Many believe his best chance to flourish individually (and financially) would be for him to take his talents to the NBA.
Ricky, however, doesn’t sound like he’s in any kind of rush to make the jump across the pond.
The NY Times reports:
Last summer, Rubio had a golden opportunity to showcase himself as the future of Spanish basketball, playing for the national team in the world championships in Turkey … Instead, Rubio struggled. He shot 28 percent from the field, including 2 of 17 from 3-point range, and averaged 4 points in 25 minutes over nine games. Spain, the defending champion, lost in the quarterfinals. For the first time, cracks began to appear in the Rubio hype machine.
Though 28 games in the 2010-11 season, Rubio has continued to struggle. He is shooting just 32 percent from the field, including 11 of 61 from beyond the arc, and his team has lost more games in the ACB and in the Euroleague than it did all of last season.
The Timberwolves continue to push him toward the N.B.A. as soon as possible, contending privately that they have a commitment from him for next season. But Rubio’s camp does not appear to be convinced. “The bottom line is, why would he want to play in Minnesota?” a senior member of Rubio’s camp said this month. “He’ll continue to say all the diplomatic things, and Minnesota needs to keep his value up for trade purposes, but the family’s preference is to be on the East Coast, specifically New York, Miami or Boston. He wouldn’t be troubled if he has to stay another year.” … “I’m not focused on the N.B.A. right now,” Rubio said. “Right now, I don’t want to talk and I don’t want to think.”
Though Ricky Rubio himself has never explicitly said he doesn’t want to play for the Timberwolves, his people have given plenty of indication that he’s simply not interested in joining the franchise.
It might be time for Minnesota’s front-office to consider cutting their losses and getting something in return by trading away Rubio’s rights.