One very important rookie that appears to have found his place on the Minnesota Timberwolves is Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio. Only 20 years old, Rubio was drafted by the Timberwolves with the fifth overall pick in 2009 but did not make his NBA debut until the beginning of the 2011-12 NBA season.
After being drafted by Minnesota, it remained unclear whether or not the young Spaniard would actually want to join a team that was not committed to winning and was not considered to be in a large market. Additionally, Rubio was in the midst of a contract with DKV Joventut (a European team) where he would be required to negotiate a buyout if he were to leave for the NBA.
However, Rubio made things official when he reached on an agreement to come on board for this season (and still had to complete a buyout for the remainder of his contract with Joventut) in order to team up with forward Kevin Love, Michael Beasley and fellow rookie Derrick Williams from the University of Arizona.
Another great move by the Timberwolves was bringing in an experienced head coach in Rick Adelman who can bring some consistency in terms of trying to establish a core group of players to build the team around in the next few years. The Timberwolves also hope to keep Kevin Love around for the long term as he continues to put up impressive double-doubles on a nightly basis.
In his NBA debut against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Rubio, who was not included in the starting lineup, put up six points and six assists to go along with five rebounds in approximately 27 minutes of playing time. He did pick up four fouls which is common for younger players trying to adapt to the style of the NBA, and as the season goes along, hopefully they will come down.
Overall, so far this season the Timberwolves should like what they have seen from Rubio. He has the potential to become much better, but it remains to be seen in what fashion. Is he going to become a big-time scoring point guard? Or is he going to be a John Stockton like player and control the game in terms of court vision and making smart plays down the stretch?
It will be very interesting to see what will happen as the season rolls along in Minnesota.