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Thursday, June 2nd, 2011 at 9:05 am  |  46 responses

Ricky Rubio to (Finally) Join Minnesota Timberwolves


At one point, I’m pretty sure that Wolves fans had begun to assume that Ricky Rubio wasn’t even a real person. But, apparently, he is. And he’ll at last put on a Minny uniform! The Star Tribune reports: “A winding, often secretive 23-month saga over whether Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio ever will play for the Timberwolves is over. Rubio on Tuesday signed an NBA contract to play with the team next season, a league source confirmed Wednesday night to the Star Tribune. A news conference introducing him two years after he was drafted will be held when Rubio’s European season ends later this month. Rubio signed May 31, the last day he could secure a contract for next season under the terms of the league’s current labor agreement. By doing so, the 20-year-old potentially guaranteed himself millions of dollars more than if he waited to sign under a new labor agreement, whenever that might come. The current agreement expires July 1 and NBA owners are seeking major financial concessions from players in difficult negotiations that could total hundreds of millions of dollars. Thus ends the team’s pursuit to sign a teenage sensation who seemed reticent to play in cold, snowy Minnesota when the Wolves selected him fifth overall in the 2009 draft. So long was their pursuit that Kevin Love late Wednesday night tweeted this: ‘Ricky Rubio huh? I’ll believe it when I see it.’ Hours after he agreed to play for the Wolves, Rubio and his Regal Barcelona team advanced to the Spanish league finals by sweeping their semifinal series. He scored seven points and had three rebounds and three assists in 18 minutes off the bench, a role he has played throughout the Spanish playoffs because of a foot injury that has since improved.”

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  • RunNGun

    I kept telling everyone that he’d be donning a Timberwolves jersey. That sooner or later, he’ll be Knick. Make it happen, Walsh!

  • marc

    i’ll believe it when i see it…in nba 2k12

  • add

    im still skepticall about his game, just gonna have to wait and see how he does

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

    Pretty sure 18 minutes off the bench in Spain equals a DNP in the league. And this is coming from a guy who has been following him since SLAM did the piece on him in ’07.

  • http://www.slamonline.com Max

    BUST

  • ezra

    @Mo Charlo, what about brandon jennings who didnt even get 18 minutes off the bench in europe?

  • KingsFan

    If he doesnt like the snow you can trade him to us in Sacto, afterall he was butthurt that we didnt draft him, mabey we could trade our next years first round pick for him :)

  • IAMORANGE4EVER

    Get Flynn for Billups to mentor. Make it happen.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    @ezra completely different situations, In Europe there is a seniority system that is followed by most sports teams. Brandon was a young cat from LA coming into a foreign country not speaking the language, unaccustom to preparing or training the way professional basketball players train. Ricky Rubio is a Spanish National team member…that alone gives him a rank of preeminence and not to mention this is a cat who has been playing professional basketball for 5 years now. no comparison whatsoever

  • http://itsahardwoodlife.blogspot.com omphalos

    Should fit in well alongside the scoring of Minny as a pass-first PG, hopefully they lose Rambis and Ridnour can mentor Rubio like he did with Jennings.

  • Riggs

    Ridnour mentored jennings? no wonder he was playing so awful.

  • http://slamonline.com The Black Rick Kamla

    almost forgot Ridnour was still a Wolve (I guess a Wolf lol), yeah Rubio can learn alot about the NBA game from him. I’m not expecting TOO much, I wouldn’t doubt he may see some D-League time, still very young kid and he’s got one thing going for him KAHHHHHHHHHHHHN has put his trust in him (and all his eggs in this dudes basket). So, say whatever you want about Kahn, dude’s very loyal- the Wolves will be sticking with their man, and thats a great vote of confidence. Flynn on the other hand we’ll see, I’ve been a fan of his since Syracuse, I know he can bee better than what he’s been with a little more luck health-wise and a better opportunity…maybe he finds it

  • HAMMER

    Hell yes!

  • http://twitter.com/smk73 smk73

    If he comes that means the end of the triangle, doesn’t it? For the triangle you need your guards to be knockdown shooters (Kerr, Paxson, jeez Derek Fisher I guess) and that’s the significant weakness in Rubio’s game.

  • http://www.twitter.com/bigtymer32 Ndem Nkem

    People need to quit comparing rubio to other pgs.he played 18 mins because of a foot injury.he’s a passing point guard.which is old school these days.so he’s gonna need aa couple seasons to not only learn the nba game but get ysed to life in america.the main reason he signed was to get that money in a new deal his rookie contract will probably be less.I think they will trade him minnesota will be very busy trade day.

  • http://redoftoothandclaw.ca/ niQ

    I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Trade scenario:Lakers trade Bynum and their first round pick to T-Wolves for Rubio and the T-Wolves 2nd overall. Lakers get younger, faster, and more athletic and Minny gets one of the top 2 or 3 centers in the league.

  • http://slamonline.com Allenp

    Why would a Lakers fan advocate for that trade?

  • Jcray

    @Brad Long, that is the stupidest trade I’ve ever heard for both teams. T-Wolves don’t need a injury prone center and give up the 2nd overall pick. Maybe for Rubio straight up.

    Kahn loves Rubio and won’t trade him, the 2nd overall pick though is likely.

  • Mike From Spain

    @ Brad Long: I am a massive Ricky Rubio fan, but that would be bad for the Lakers. I cannot see why the Lakers would trade Bynum away, much less so for an unproven PG and a draft pick.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Easy, I don’t trust Bynum’s knees. I love the dudes game right now and I’m not sure his trade value will ever be higher. Plus we get a guy who could be a franchise point guard for the next decade and another player from the draft(Derrick Williams) who at worst is a more athletic Udonis Haslem and at best Blake Griffin Lite. Also, it would make room for Dwight Howard down the road. Another bonus is Rubio playing next to his old Spanish teammate would have to help with the adjustment process. We need to shake things up and just hiring Mike Brown is not enough. If Bynum stays healthy and continues to become the player I saw in the playoffs, fantastic, but I just don’t see it with that many injuries so early in his career.

  • http://staticseth.blogspot.com Seth

    I’m with Kevin Love – I’ll believe it when I see it… and I really want to see it.

  • Fat Lever

    I feel bad for Minny sometimes. Only the L-Wolves would draft a heralded PG, only to wait two years for him to sign his NBA contract to play. And then when he does sign the contract, there’s a distinct possibility that there won’t be a season next year. Oops.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    I actually like that trade….somewhat.

  • http://twitter.com/smileyoufckers Bryan

    Co sign Brad. That seems like a good deal.

  • JTaylor21

    BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

  • http://www.twitter.com/nflem41 Nicolas Fleming

    Kevin Love’s reaction is priceless. More “Love in the Shower!”

  • AQWORD

    I like Rubio’s game, he a hustla & a team playa. Whatever team gets him will improve. I hope i see him in a NBA uniform next year if there is a season that is. Better Mo Fu B or ima get medeavil on stern’s a$$.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Meh… Ricky Rubio. I hardly think he’ll make the impact in the NBA that people have projected him to make. He more than held his own in the Olympics against Team USA, but that Spanish squad was really good and he didn’t have to do a whole lot.
    The Timberwolves suck, so he’ll have to carry a much, much heavier burden which is largely due to the “Ricky Rubio Hype.” Can he handle it?
    Like KLove said, I’ll believe it when I see it.

  • Allenp

    Ok. I still don’t like trading big for little but ok.

  • http://slamonline.com Bryan Crawford

    Even though they probably should, the Lakers (read: Jim Buss) won’t trade Bynum… And it’s going to come back to haunt them.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d9B412oN9MA EJ

    No way LA should trade Bynum for Rubio and a draft pick, both can turn out to be busts. Bynum is too valuable for that kind of risk.

  • SikhWitIt

    @Brad, nice try with the explanation, but it’s still a really bad trade for the Lakers. Kobe doesn’t have that much more time and there is no justification in trading for two unprovens with the window closing. That trade you’re advocating would effectively nullify any title chances the Lakers have. Right now, they have a two year window with Kobe, after that, they’ll have to blow it up. I think Kobe would agree that this trade would be a bad move, thinking short-term.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    It didn’t nullify their chances when Bynum was hurt and missed huge chunks of the season and the playoffs before. And the whole “two year window” thing wouldn’t even be an issue if they slowly reload now. Plus it gives them the ability to take a run at Dwight

  • SikhWitIt

    Kobe was in his prime when Bynum was out. Your argument is based on the very risky assumption that the unproven Rubio and the unproven Derrick Williams will be all they can be. I’m not sure I agree with you there. Also, I don’t see how they could take a run at Dwight by trading Bynum for these unprovens. I think Bynum’s one of the few incentives that will make Orlando pull the trigger on that trade. Saying they will be in a better position to win chips by adding two rooks with Kobe on the downslope is ludicrous.

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.l.brewer3 BlackPhantom

    If we give up Bynum, we’d definitely have to get a big to replace him.

  • @Deknowz

    Until I see him on a NBA basketball court I don’t want to hear his name ever again.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Umm, Bynum has missed significant time for 3 straight years now. Your basically betting the future on either Bynum’s knees holding up for another 7-10 years or two lottery picks. One of whom has already played profesionally at a very high level. And we won’t have to trade for Dwight when he’s a free agent. It would also make L.A. a more attractive team for Howard to sign with, considering it would put some quality youth on the roster.

  • http://slamonline.com Brad Long

    Ask yourself this question: What would be more suprising, Andrew Bynum going down with an injury for the rest of the season in Dec. or Rubio and Derrick Williams both sucking as rooks?

  • baykusreyiz

    overrated!!

  • http://www.triplejunearthed.com/dacre Dacre

    DWIGHT is not going to go to LA… why would he follow exactly in Shaq’s foot steps… stupid. Rubio will have ALOT of work to do to become a consistently effective PG in the NBA. The physical nature of the game alone will be an issue, every night he’s going to be defended by strong, young players and I will be surprised if he holds his own… I’m excited to see just what he can do in the NBA.

  • mike

    yawn…

  • Yesse

    I will believe it when i actually see him on the court. I also doubt, that Rubio will be as good as people say.

  • humboldt

    @mo charlo are you the mo charlo from eureka high school who played at nevada?

  • Mike From Spain

    Dacre: Rubio is 20, I don’t really see the point about the ‘young PGs guarding him’. I think that if there is a partial lock-out and the league starts with one month or two month delay, if the T-wolves get Rubio to do conditioning and shooting work, he could be more or less ready for the shorter season ahead.

  • AQWORD

    ^^^^ Word to mike from spain ^^^^

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