by Sam Riches / @sam_riches
After being selected with the fifth overall pick in 2009, Ricky Rubio is finally bringing his game to the NBA.
His presence will immediately strengthen Minnesota’s backcourt, who are in dire need of an adept point guard. The Timberwolves will also be seeking some additional talent with their number two selection in next week’s draft.
From the Star Tribune:
“The 20-year-old Spanish guard ended two years of speculation on Friday when he said, ‘I have finally decided to start the journey’ to the NBA.
The Timberwolves also issued a press release confirming that the team had signed him to a multi-year contract, and have announced a Tuesday press conference in the Twin Cities.
‘This is a day our organization and our fans have been eagerly awaiting from the moment we drafted him, and I couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Ricky to Minnesota,’ said David Kahn, Timberwolves president of basketball operations. ‘Ricky’s skill set and feel for the game have made him one of the best young players in Europe for six years now, and at age 20 he’s still a young player with a lot of upside. I expect Ricky to enjoy a long and successful career here in Minnesota.’”
His venture will not be easy, as he attempts to overcome his detractors and turn around the fortunes of a struggling Minnesota franchise that posted a League worst 65 losses.
Rubio will also try to rebound from perhaps the most disappointing season of his professional career. His scoring average dropped to 6.5 points per game, while shooting 39 percent from the floor and just a shade over 20 percent from behind the arc. His assist average also fell to 3.5 per game.
After becoming the youngest player in the history of the Spanish ACB League, Rubio’s international career has largely been a success, including a silver medal with the Spanish national team at the 2008 Olympics and being crowned the best point guard in the ACB League in 2008 and 2010.