After losing to the Los Angeles Lakers last night, rookie point guard Ricky Rubio went down with a knee injury while helping defend Kobe Bryant. Not being able to put much weight on his leg, Rubio was helped off the court during the final minutes of the game holding his hand over his face.
Yahoo Sports! columnist Adrian Wojnarowski reported late Friday night that Rubio could have suffered a torn ACL which would cause him to miss the remainder of the season and the Summer Olympics. This was confirmed earlier this afternoon after Rubio underwent an MRI.
So the question now is what should the Timberwolves do next?
The Timberwolves are looking to clinch a playoff spot although not having Rubio could become a mental loss for the team.
They have two capable guards on their roster in veterans Luke Ridnour and J.J. Barea. Ridnour who has been playing alongside Rubio in the backcourt would most likely become the immediate starter while Barea will be coming off the bench.
Barea has dealt with various injuries (ankle, calf strain) so far this season but now healthy can become more of a factor as he should receive consistent minutes now that he will be relied upon more for scoring.
Another option could be for the Timberwolves to make a trade for an established veteran like Andre Miller (who is in the final year of his contract) and has shown that he can be effective, but a quiet leader.
The Timberwolves should not make a trade without carefully looking at all of their options. The team is still young but can hopefully rally around Kevin Love and rely on the experience of their coach Rick Adelman to help them move past the loss of Rubio.
It will be interesting to see how this young squad plays without an integral part of their team.