Yesterday, Ricky Rubio’s attorneys presented a buyout offer to DKV Joventut, the Spanish team Rubio is currently under contract with.
According to persons familiar with the negotiations, the offer from Rubio’s attorneys is just over $3 million. The offer is currently being considered by the team’s board of directors.
This development could mean that Rubio's lawsuit for arbitration over his contract could be thrown out. The team has stated it would not negotiate an agreement unless Rubio withdraws his suit, but if the team agrees with the buyout, no arbitration is needed.
This is not the first offer that was made to DKV Joventut. Sometime shortly before the draft, Rubio’s attorneys offered $4 million for the release of his contract, but that deal was rejected immediately. This prompted Rubio's agent to inform Timberwolves President David Kahn that Rubio's DKV Joventut contract could pose a problem to his immediate future with the Wolves.
That could be why Kahn publicly said from the beginning that Rubio may not play in the NBA for a year or two.
The terms of his current contract agreement reportedly asks for $6.7 million for the release of his contract with the team. Some reports have that number jumping to nearly $9 million if a buyout is not exercised from the contract after a certain period of time.
The DKV Joventut board of directors may seriously consider this latest offer. Rubio’s offer of a little over $3 million is not likely to go up, now knowing his salary as the fifth pick of the 2009 NBA Draft. The original offer of $4 million was likely an assumption that he would be a top-three pick.
The 2009 Rookie Wage Scale calls for $2.7243 million his first year, and $2.9286 million his second year. A third-year option can be made for $3.1329 million, and a possible fourth year option for $3.9683 million.
It is not clear if Rubio’s current offer to his Spanish team includes the $500,000 the Timberwolves are allowed to pay for his buyout of his overseas contract. According to the Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams cannot pay more then $500,000 toward a buyout from any league for drafted players.
This is a sign that the point guard phenom wants to play in the NBA now. Reported offers from international basketball leagues do not top any more than just a little over $1 million to play for their teams, so that couldn't be his motive for trying to get out of his contract now.
Maybe he'll be playing for the Timberwolves this season after all.
Nam Huynh writes for Minnesota Sports Zone (http://www.mn-sz.com)