Thursday, March 19th, 2009 at 11:00 am  |  76 responses

Report: Ricky Rubio is Feeling Draft-y

by Marcel Mutoni

Tired of playing against some of Europe’s fiercest men, according to SI’s Chris Mannix, Ricky Rubio would like to enter the 2009 NBA draft.

Of course, Mannix is the same guy who erroneously reported that Marko Jaric was facing sexual assault charges last week, so take this latest report for what it’s worth:

Spain’s Ricky Rubio, a dazzling point guard with Pete Maravich-like skills and the facial features to match, is considered a lock to be selected in the top 10 of the NBA draft. Several league executives believe the 6-foot-3 Olympian will be a top five pick. The question is, when?

It could be this June. Rubio has made it clear that he would like to enter the 2009 draft, according to sources close to the situation. The 18-year-old Rubio is draft-eligible because he will turn 19 before the end of 2009.

But it’s not that easy. Rubio has a complicated, multimillion-dollar contract buyout with his Spanish team, DKV Joventut Barcelona. NBA teams are allowed to contribute a maximum of $500,000 to buy out the contract of a foreign player. That means if Rubio seeks to leave Joventut, he could be forced to use most of the money from his first NBA contract to pay for the buyout.

Therein lies the rub: How much money is Ricky prepared to lose in order to jump to the NBA?

We’ll be finding out soon enough.

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  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com/ TADOne

    I hope this happens.

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    I’m really not surprised because this is such a weak draft. But, I still don’t think he’ll be a better pro than Jonny Flynn.

  • RedRum

    Mannix is an imbecile… some time ago he called Isiah Thomas a “genius” for the Zach Randolf trade..

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    …and, sorry but I don’t think battling NBA ballers will be any easier than facing “Europe’s fiercest men”…

  • http://double-technical.blogspot.com Zee!

    Shake and bake…..

  • http://where-basketball-b-longs.blogspot.com/ B. Long

    According to Lang this dude has had a contract with Nike since he hit puberty so I doubt money is a real issue. Besides, this dude is going to be so marketable he’ll easily make the money back in endorsements even in this economy.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Rubio has a weird game, he really doesn’t play like any other Euro guards in the L. I like how he can be disruptive on the defensive hand, always sticking a hand in the lanes or bothering the guy he’s guarding. His jumper will prolly be exposed in his rookie year but there is no reason to think that he won’t come around. TP has. My only concern is that I don’t know if he’ll be able to get in the paint at will like a Rose or a Parker considering that people will back off of him.

  • http://hibachi20.blogspot.com/ BETCATS


  • Bobbo

    In a weak draft, teams are more likely to go for “best player available”. He would qualify and thus should feel very confident he will be in the top five…or three…or two.

  • Fred34

    As long as he doesn’t get stuck in the Mormon tundra of Utah – he has enormous market upside.

  • Squirrel7

    I saw him play live a while back, when DKV came to play Guildford Heat in the Euro League. You could see the potential, but he was used pretty sparingly, and you wonder how well he’d do in the NBA when he doesn’t even seem to play big minutes on his current team. And yeah, his jump-shot is shaky, but he seemed to avoid shooting unless absolutely necessary (think Steve Nash), so not sure if this is a huge issue. He is pretty good on defense, has great anticipation, but is extremely skinny, which would be a big problem, I think. But his hands are unbelievable, and I’m not sure who I’d take this year ahead of him, despite his drawbacks….

  • http://www.eric32woodyard.wordpress.com Eric Woodyard

    I think Ricky is really overrated!

  • riggs

    ill take him seriously when he starts calling himself Ricardo Rubio

  • niQ

    i don’t think it’s a weak draft. and adding rubio will only make the draft that much better.

  • http://www.twitter.com/TheDiesel Anton

    Rondo’s officially a sharpshooter by comparison.

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    B. Long: You’re way wrong. He is making BEANS on his team (I think less than 100,000 dollars a year)… and his contract buyout is six million. Think about that for a second.
    Rubio will easy make all-rookie first team if he enters in the NBA this year. Rookie of the Year? Eh… probably not.

  • Hussman25

    If his buyout is larger than 3 million dollars, I believe his sponsorship money w/ Nike and other deals would be able to take care of that… His earning potential is limited right now and I think he (Ricky) may be starting to realize it and that the NBA is where the REAL money would be… Ricky is a great talent… remember that word Talent… He has played in a nice league overseas and performed well in the Olympics, but it’s still not the L. For me, Ricky needs to play more that just an average of 20 min a game to see his full potential… Ricky, stay another year over there and go to a team who would really need you in a year. Washington, New York and Sac town are not places you wanna play in!!! PERIOD!

  • http://ittakesanationofmillionstoholdthissac.blogspot.com ciolkstar

    Thats really weird Jukai. Did he gat a big signing bonus or something? $100,000 a year with a 6 Mill buyout does not sound resonable, or even legal. There has to be more to his deal than just 100K annually if they have big of a buyout clause.

  • http://www.shawn-kemps-offspring.blogspot.com Eboy

    Ya no puedo concentrarme en el colegio,
    No soporto ms al profesor,
    Y las clases se me hacen eternas,
    Se me duermen hasta las piernas.
    Me he cansado de estudiar,
    Y no puedo ni pensar,
    Porque todo el pensamiento es para ti.
    Eres duea de mis sentimientos desde que te vi.
    Mi familia me ha notado algo extrao,
    Y mis amigos se ren de m.
    Me pregunto que es lo que ha pasado,
    Que me muero por estar a tu lado.
    He pintado un corazn
    En el rbol del jardn,
    Y tu nombre est en mi libro de latn.
    Me vigilas desde mis cuadernos,
    Qu ser de m?
    Dulces besos, caramelo.
    Dulces besos, y tu pelo.
    Dulces besos, para soar.
    Dulces besos, caramelo.
    Dulces besos, y tu pelo.
    Dulces besos, para soar.
    He querido perderte de vista,
    Por sentirme un poquito mayor.
    Y al pensar en tu cara morena,
    Mi tristeza se muere de pena.
    Sigo igual sin estudiar,
    Recordando sin parar
    Aquel beso tan bonito que te di.
    Creo que te llamar maana,
    Quiero ser feliz.
    Dulces besos, caramelo.
    Dulces besos, y tu pelo.
    Dulces besos, para soar.
    Dulces besos, caramelo.
    Dulces besos, y tu pelo.
    Dulces besos, para soar.
    Ya no puedo ni pensar,
    Recordando sin parar
    Aquel beso tan bonito que te di.
    Creo que te llamar maana,
    Quiero ser feliz.
    Dulces besos, caramelo.
    Dulces besos, y tu pelo.
    Dulces besos, para soar.
    Dulces besos, caramelo.
    Dulces besos, y tu pelo.
    Dulces besos, para soar.
    Dulces besos, caramelo.
    Dulces besos, y tu pelo.
    Dulces besos, para soar.
    Dulces besos, dulces besos
    Dulces besos, dulces besos,
    Para soar

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    Ciolkstar: That’s actually something Rubio’s agent has hinted at multiple times: that his buyout amount would not hold up in court because it is so massive compared to his salary. Not that him nor Rubio want to take DKV Joventut to court, but it’s pretty god damn insane. I think everyone is expecting the buyout to be lessened drastically when Rubio eventually does decide to leave for the NBA (which I still expect that to be next year, as Rubio never had time to improve his game because of his hand injury).

  • http://sfdjilf.com Jukai

    From draft-expresss: “The news out of Spain last month was that Rubio’s team DKV Joventut had unilaterally decided to double his salary on the year, from 80,000 Euro to 160,000. This is obviously an attempt to get his pay closer in line with what his value is to the team, as he’s clearly their most important player. There’s been some talk that Rubio’s contract would not hold up in court if challenged, as a 6 million Euro buyout is obviously not proportionate to an 80,000 Euro contract. It’s highly unlikely that it would get to that, though.”

  • method526

    damn he’s a young kid. good luck to him.

  • matt the jazz fan

    @fred34: the frozen tundra already have a reasonably good option at the point guard position, all nba second team in fact. but thanks for your concern.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    What we call buy out is nothing more than a transfer fee in Europe which is the norm. Trades (player A vs player B) as we see it over here are the exceptions in Europe where players get bought from teams. It’s not uncommon in football for a smaller club to ask for enormous transfer fees for a prospect that’s wanted by bigger clubs. Think of all the players from Lyon that play in England or Spain.

  • rav

    if the clippers draft him i’ll cry for ricky

  • http://theghostofroyhobbs.blogspot.com Mo Charlo

    Eboy, you better have some flowers with you also, you crooner you.

  • Josh D

    He’s not a lock for top 10, he’s a top 3 lock

  • http://www.ojhoops.blogspot.com the baconator

    I understand the potential behind him, but I personally don’t see what everyone claims he is. He has great handles, court vision, and passing ability, but his jumpshot is nowheres near good enough for the NBA. Part of Pistol’s game was his incredible ability to score in a variety of ways, something I think Rubio lacks. Against Team USA he looked weak and unconfident, turning the ball over a ton. In a few years I could see him being a top-3 lock, but definitely not now

  • http://www.ojhoops.blogspot.com the baconator

    On a side note, wouldn’t it be interesting if the NBA allowed inter-league trades? As in, CSKA Moscow could trade with any NBA team. I dunno, I think it’d add an entirely new dimension to the game

  • http://www.myspace.com/mcnarrative Kieran

    I just cant seeing him having a major impact in the NBA

  • k.o.

    Whats DKV’s track record like as far as paying players on-time/at all?? considering some of the sad stories that’ve been told about Euro team finances, Rubio could promise to pay them and conveniently ‘forget’ to follow through

  • http://allanzuss@yahoo.com Mendel

    Whatever. Them spainards are all about representing in the NBA.

  • http://joeloholic.wordpress.com Joel O’s

    Marketable? This guy could be the Spanish, balling, long-lost Jonas Brother. The basketball Cristiano Ronaldo. With so many NBA teams ailing financially, I’d think Stern will try his darndest to get Rubio here some way or another asap.

  • Danny W

    I watched him play in the UK last year, having seen many NBA games live, and thousands of European Games, he really is something special. He was head and shoulders the best player on the court, and humble too. He carried the kit bags off court at the end of the game. I’ve no idea if that’ll stay the same throughout his career, but on that night he was the man (boy). Fingers crossed he’ll end up in Sactown, NY would chew him up and spit him out.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Co-sign ciolkstar, both times.

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    LOL Danny, the Knicks SHOULDN’T draft Rubio. He’s overrated!

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Ricky Rubio won’t be that good. He’ll be OKAY.
    Shout out to Jukai!

  • RedRum

    Rubio is not as good as Calderon…

  • http://www.Slamonline.com CP34MVP

    Is he really that good? Yeah, and the Thunder should get him!

  • L33tSauce

    Rubio is not Calderon now, but the kid is 18. He’ll be good. HIs ball handling skills make most NBA PG’s jealous, he just has to work on hi overall game.

  • rav

    joel – please dont compare ricky rubio to that unbelievable tosser that is cristiano ronaldo – lionel messi is a far better comparision (and messi is a very marketable player – almost as much as the gimp)

  • Nate James

    i like rubio a lot.
    i feel out the gates brandon jennings will make a quicker start, and transition.
    but in the long run it will be rubio.

  • http://slam weezyleezy

    rubio will be a scrub fa sho

  • Quail

    kings need a point guard…. kings need everything but a 2 guard actually.

  • ka

    i think rubio is nice, but i dunno his nba game. z made some good points, so did baconator. his spain backcourt mate looked better offensively but you can see he definitely can run a team. an ideal situation for him would be to play coming off the bench as a rookie, just to acclimate himself to the nba game.

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    The problem is, you guys are downplaying his shot and his speed. He averaged 46% from the three in the Euroleague tournement, and while his sprint isn’t anything to be impressed by, he’s awfully explosive. Unlike previous comments, he’s actually a way better shooter than Rondo. I don’t know where most of this is coming from.

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    If you’re going to draft Rubio, you have to start him. There are very few lottery teams that could afford bringing Rubio off the bench… Clippers, Golden State, New Jersey, Chicago, Phoenix. Possibly Charlotte. Every other lottery team, he’s a starter for sure.
    Hell, a dual point guard backcourt of Rose and Rubio would be sick to perfection.

  • Herfdawg

    Jukai is definitely on point. He’s probably going to be as good as Calderon if not better (because he’s a better athlete). But he is 18. Give him 2 years in the L and he’ll be a top 10 point for sure. I say this because he’s just got that THING. Like he plays like he’s 18 sometimes, and sometimes he plays like he’s 23. Not many players in this (or any other) draft have that.

  • CHE

    This kid is an amazing basketball player he is a mix of Steve Nash and Ginobili. Very unorthodox shot. But has lenghty arms and plays good defense along with his offensive talent. I can’t wait to see him come to the NBA.

  • http://nyer.sosblog.com Be A Real Fan

    He needs to broaden his corporate appeal and with that name, it aint gonna cut it. His name literally translated is Richard Blonde or Blonde Richard…or Blonde D*ck.

  • http://www.bjbl.co.uk Ryan.G

    i say he goes , nba the biggest basketball league in the world.i would risk my money to play in the nba.

  • fro

    Chris Mannix rubs me the worng way and DKV is in Badalona not Barcelona.

  • http://mindyourbusiness@getalife.com Allenp

    Why do people keep comparing Rubio to Steve Nash?
    The correct comparison right now is Jason Kidd. Rubio hasn’t shown Nash’s shooting stroke, handles or shiftiness. His game is much more similiar to Kidd’s, at least from what I’ve seen.

  • http://basketball-reference.com nbk

    Handles and Shiftiness are way way way more nash-like then Kidd, he doesn’t shoot as well but he definately has a better stroke then Jason Kidd as a rookie. Rubio also turns the ball over less then kidd did. Rubio is essentially the middle between kidd and nash, kidd-ish on defense and nash-ish on offense.

  • http://neworleansbasketball.blogspot.com Caleb

    @Be A Real Fan. Dude, Ricky Rubio is an awesome name. It’s like he was born to be a 6’3 Spanish point guard with maravich-like handles with that name. Richard Blonde? Yeah… sounds like a movie star or comic book character. He’s awesome.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Nima Zarrabi

    @ Hussman25: “3 million should cover it.” You clearly have no idea.

    Jukai is right, Ricky’s buyout is 6 million for the next TWO years. He will likely be playing in Spain for another 2 seasons.

  • Miguel Ferreira

    I wish i could see him play, he’s really great. Since i live in Portugal (that’s right next to Spain for all of you) it would be way better if he stayed here in Europe.

  • EC

    Dude should never be compared to kidd or nash, he has a far inferior left hand and his game is to one dimensional cuz he lacks a J and is to predictable

  • Teddy-the-Bear

    Jukai, put Rondo in Spain and he’ll nail threes more consistenly than RUBIO.

  • Teddy-the-Bear


  • Teddy-the-Bear

    And “Pistol Pete-like” skills?? You’ve got to be kidding me! I thought Pistol Pete could shoot?

  • Jacob

    I dont think Rubio will live up to the hype, I think he’ll be ok but not a fantastic player I think he’ll average about 11 points a game, and like 4 assists a game but who knows? I may be wrong

  • Son of Shawn

    It´s too easy to talk, and give a stupid opinion; but how many of you have watched more than ten entire matches of a kid who´s playing pro basketball since he was 15 years old in the second best basketball league in the world, a kid who´s the youngest basketball player ever got a medal in the Olympics (and having a prominent role in his team), a kid who was the leader of the Euroleague in steals per game when he was only 16 y.o.? but of course, I forgot that everyone here is a Hall Of Famer.
    This kid has done more at 18 y.o. than all of us in our entire lives, but, hey, maybe he´s not good, maybe he´s overrated, don´t f+ck me, he´s a great player, that´s what he is

  • larrylegend

    rubio will be right there, he has a fire inside, many nba ballers can dream of.
    not that he’s a 2nd pistol, but he is just 18 YEARS OLD, playing against european finest for about 4 years….playing 2 big international tournaments….can’t wait till 2009 draft.

  • Pablo

    4 assist per game??? xD he’s averaging 6 this year and playing about 20 minutes.. i would see him in miami with wade… its my dream

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    Pablo, Jacob and Teddy are consistent haters, it’s incredible how much nonsense they spout. Rubio is a better shooter than Rondo. Period. I’m not saying Rubio’s a better player than Rondo, he doesn’t have the speed that Rondo has. But he’s a better shooter.
    Why shooting is a problem is because he’s on the slower side, so he needs an outside shot to keep the D off him so he can get the driving lanes that he sees (but wont always be able to get to because of his speed). His shot isn’t terrible like Rondo’s though, not in the slightest.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    It’s ridiculous to compare a guy who’s not dead on shooter to Nash. I think that Allenp has it with J. Kidd. Good frame, good not great quickness, very good defense, great vision, so-so jumper. We’ll see. There’s nothing that I’ve seen from him that makes me say ‘that’s a year in year out all star right there’.

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    Z: When people compare him to Nash, they’re only comparing his passing. He passes A LOT like Nash: flashy lob and bounce passes are his thing. Kidd was more no-look-feeds to cutters or dropping an improbable pass to a guy under the basket that got people to “OHHHHHH!”
    As people are saying though, for Rubio to be an all-star, he’ll have to get a better jumper so the lanes will be there for him. Or get faster.

  • UlmRoan

    These links are for those who had never watch ricky play. I don’t understand some of the comments posted here. I’m spaniard and i see him doing incredible things each game. And for those statistics lovers, he has been injured for three months, that’s the reason of the low numbers in this season and for not being a starter in his team until last games.
    (Sorry for my english errors, i hope the text is understandable)

  • http://www.hibachi20.blogspot.com Hursty

    He’s 18, probably hasn’t got 100% co-ordination right now, is 6’3 (or 6’4 depending on who you look at) and is already a great baller handler.
    If you give a guy 6 months to improve his jumpshot, ball handling ability and overall game, you think he can’t do plyometric work and increase his explosive capabilities and vertical jump? He’s already great laterally and has a strong first step off the dribble.
    Add into the fact (it IS a fact) that he’ll be more experienced than every other point guard from college entering the draft and that should ensure he goes top 5 (top 10 at MINIMUM).
    If you’re 17 and locking down Jason Kidd and Chris Paul in a gold medal game in the Olympics for your national team… then you’re pretty damn good. I’ll take that kid on an NBA team every day of the week, twice on Sundays.

  • http://www.manutd.com Z

    Nobody is saying that he won’t be top 10. Of course, he is an NBA talent and he is already pretty damn good! However, I think people need to slow down with comparing him to Nash, Maravich and other all time greats. I don’t even know if he’s better than Rondo right now who’s putting up 12 and 8.5 with outstanding D.

  • http://fdklf.com Jukai

    Z: He’s not. But he’s four and a half years younger than Rondo….

  • L33tSauce

    He’d be perfect next to a more dominant SG. (MIAMI, the team always making a home for PG’s)

  • Yassi

    I love his game and passion, thats why I´d love him to stay here and not go overseas.

    The way the game is played in the NBA those last years is making me sick to the stomach…….

  • pol

    DKV Joventut Badalona no Barcelona

  • MZ

    I think we should see Rubio playing against NBAs stars again. His level improves when he has the best players in front of him. See Portland’s Rudy, he is doing very well his firts year at NBA, his level is even better than in Spain and that happens when you have better players around u.