Rubio Boosts His Value
"To be in the Final Four of the Euroleague, this is where I want to be," said the recipient of the league's Rising Star Award, given annually to the best young player. "I've worked hard to make it to this goal. And this shows me that I chose the best option. I am so happy on this team. These players help me improve every day and so do the assistant coaches and other staff."
The Wolves, should they decide to retain Rubio's rights rather than package him to move up in June's draft, hold an appreciating asset. Team sources confirm that since he helped the Spanish national team to last year's European championship, he has spent extended time in the weight room for the first time in his career. Meanwhile, Barcelona's coaches have put in overtime to work on his shooting mechanics.
- We can't trade this kid. Well, unless we get some absolutely sick offer AND land John Wall in the draft. That's the only way. Even then, I truly believe Rubio will be able to come over to the NBA and make an immediate impact. I hope Kahn is careful with how he handles this "asset."
So there's time to check in across the pond. That's where Kahn and execs from other wannabe playoff contenders were, checking out the talent at the European Final Four. Kahn, of course, was there to look in on the Timberwolves' future, 19-year-old Ricky Rubio, whose Regal FC Barcelona team won the championship Sunday over Olympiacos, 86-68, for its second Euroleague title. Former Grizzlies player Juan Carlos Navarro, with 21 points and five assists against Olympiacos, was named Final Four MVP; Rubio, who scored nine points, was the first player to cut down the nets.
"Barcelona will not sleep tonight," said the play-by-play guy on the TV feed, and Kahn may be sleeping easier these days as well. When Rubio chose to play in Barcelona for two seasons instead of coming to Minnesota (the team that picked him sixth overall in the 2009 Draft), Kahn got a lot of heat and a lot of people around the league expected the Wolves to eventually deal away their rights to him. But Kahn said Sunday that the plan to bring Rubio over after next season is still in place, and that the Wolves anticipate Rubio to be the beneficiary of two years of seasoning, two years of growing physically and two years of working on his jumper.
- A long, but superb read, if you've got the time.
What Does Rubio Winning The Title Mean For The Wolves?
By Timberwolf at Bleacher Report:
This says to me that Rubio did, in fact, think of joining the Wolves this past season. Rubio stated that he wanted to win the Euroleague title, and a few Wolves fans thought, "What if he wins it in his first year?"
What does that do for the Wolves if anything?
I'll tell you what, from a scale of one to 10—one being nothing, two being a little, five being something, and 10 being everything—only two, five, and 10 actually matter.
On one hand, it could have Rubio say, "I've won the title, I think I'm ready now, but one more year will help." It could have him say, "Maybe I should go to the NBA this upcoming season since I've accomplished my dream." Or it could say, "I will go to the NBA because I won the title now."
- It means you still draft Wall if we get the #1 pick. Or, at the very least we make a nice trade and end up with Turner. Nothing less is acceptable.
Ricky Rubio Update and NBA Trade Rumors
By Austin Burtin at Dime Mag:
Ricky Rubio was one of the hottest topics of NBA discussion and debate last summer, then pretty much fell off the radar once he decided he’d rather stay in Spain for a couple of years than play for the Timberwolves right away.
Don’t think they’ve forgotten about Rubio in Minnesota, though, especially when fans and front-office had to watch fellow ‘09 draftees Stephen Curry, Brandon Jennings and Darren Collison — all point guards picked after the Wolves took Rubio — go on to make this year’s All-Rookie First Team.
Wolves Should Take Evan Turner Over John Wall?
The Wolves would be assured of drafting either John Wall, whom many see as the prize of this class, or the “consolation prize,” Ohio State combo guard Evan Turner. While you likely cannot go wrong either way, Turner would better suit Minnesota for a number of reasons.
Wall is only attractive to Minnesota as part of a major roster overhaul. His presence would essentially force at least one trade now, involving Ramon Sessions, and likely another in a year, involving Johnny Flynn. But these trades would only take place after it was assured that Ricky Rubio was coming to Minnesota, as I pointed out in my last column.
This option remains exciting. By executing a number of trades, the Wolves could continue to find missing pieces. And there are a lot of those when you are coming off of a franchise-tying low of 15 wins this season.
Wall would also bring flash and intrigue to the Wolves. ESPN and the national media would now have a reason to watch, and follow, Wolves' games.
The Wolves would have a legit future star on which to build around. But in reality, Turner does all that and more.
- You take John Wall if you have the chance. Don't get cute here. With that said, Turner is a great consolation prize. Or, in the event that we trade down, Kahn better make damn sure we receive fair compensation in return. How would the Bulls look if they passed up Derrick Rose for OJ Mayo? Not quite the same exact comparison, but you get the point.
It's a good bet the Minnesota Timberwolves will try to sign Rudy Gay from Memphis if he becomes a free agent this summer, but the Grizzlies are expected to re-sign the 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward. And if Gay were to leave, it's virtually certain it would be for the hometown Washington Wizards, who have $22.5 million in salary cap space.
- Take it for what it's worth, but he pretty much just blatantly makes up stuff all the time.
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