NBA Trade Speculation: Odds on Which Team Ricky Rubio Will Play for in 2011-12

Christopher HowlandCorrespondent IIIApril 10, 2011

NBA Trade Speculation: Odds on Which Team Ricky Rubio Will Play for in 2011-12

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    BEIJING - AUGUST 20:  Ricard Rubio #6 of Spain falls during play in the men's basketball quarterfinal game against Croatia at the Olympic Basketball Gymnasium during Day 12 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 20, 2008 in Beijing, China.  (Photo by
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    As speculation continues to swirl around Barcelona’s point guard Ricky Rubio and the odds he makes it to the NBA in the near future, many experts from the Association have differing opinions of where the over-seas stud will land.

    While Minnesota Timberwolves President of basketball operations David Kahn has assured fans that Rubio will be taking his talents to Minnesota saying things like this to ESPN’s True Hoop blog:

    “Don’t believe anything you read… nothing could be further from the truth. I’m looking very forward to him [Rubio] starting his career here with the Minnesota Timberwolves in what I assume will be a year-and-a-half.”

    We just can’t be too sure.

    Here are the odds Ricky Rubio lands with these five teams through whatever means necessary for the 2011-12 NBA season.

New Jersey Nets

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    NEW YORK - MAY 18:  (EXCLUSIVE) Cultural icon and Nets investor JAY-Z and Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov celebrate Prokhorov's purchase of the team at lunch today at JAY-Z's 40/40 club on May 18, 2010 in New York City. Prokhorov is representing the Nets ton
    Larry Busacca/Getty Images

    As star-point guard Deron Williams begins his four-week rehab after a Monday wrist surgery, William’s 2011 “tryout” to become the New Jersey Nets’ franchise guard has been thrown into a state of limbo. 

    If an extension for Williams doesn’t get pounded out this off-season, Nets’ execs may need to look elsewhere for a franchise cornerstone.

    Ricky Rubio’s presence in the Nets’ locker room will contribute to their youthful movement, and New York is in the exact market Rubio wants to play in.

    Brooklyn is a cultural melting pot that has embraced foreign-born owner Mikhail Prokhorov and would surely accept the Latin flavor that Rubio will bring with his play.

    Deron’s impending contract extension is the only real roadblock in the way of a Rubio trade talks in New York, so that’s why I give this deal a lowly 4% likelihood of happening.

Miami Heat

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    NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 03:  LeBron James #6 and Dwyane Wade #3 of the Miami Heat look on against the New Jersey Nets at the Prudential Center on April 3, 2011 in Newark, New Jersey.The Heat defeated the Nets 108-94.NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges an
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    For the sake of an accurate comparison, Rubio’s game matches well with Boston Celtics’ guard Rajon Rondo.

    Like Rondo, Rubio excels in the open floor, grabbing loose balls and snatching down rebounds, but it’s his court sense to anticipate the defense and make plays off his high basketball IQ that makes him a rare commodity.

    Having two of the arguably best players on the wings in LeBron James and Dwayne Wade would simply create a disruptive force on the floor.

    Rubio will be able to run the point, dishing it out to his All-Star cast, or use their court presence to drive it to the bucket for an easy lay-in.

    Miami is also a destination Rubio should feel comfortable playing in.

    With its close Spanish ties and warm weather, Rubio could be a fit in Pat Riley’s game plan in South Beach.

    But with too many issues needing to pan out right for the Heat to grab Rubio, I give this only a 6% chance of actually becoming a reality.

Dallas Mavericks

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    DALLAS - JUNE 20:  Owner Mark Cuban of the Dallas Mavericks yells to the court as Dirk Nowitzki #41 of the Mavericks stands in the foreground in game six of the 2006 NBA Finals against the Miami Heat on June 20, 2006 at American Airlines Center in Dallas,
    Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

    While Jason Kidd isn’t getting any younger, the Dallas Mavericks and owner Mark Cuban have been, “very high on Rubio,” as he recently told about his interest in the Timberwolves point guard.

    “If they want to give him up, we’re very interested. We would do that in a heartbeat,” Cuban told the news outlet.

    And, in actuality, Dallas does seem to provide a good fit for Ricky Rubio’s future.

    As Kidd begins to ease his way into retirement, Rubio will be able to learn for a few years under one of the best guards to play in the NBA.

    Mark Cuban would be a blast to work under and Rubio will team up with fellow European Dirk Nowitzki to create a lethal pick-and-roll combo.

    And if you think Cuban is concerned about Rubio’s recent underperformance this season in the Euroleague, think twice.

    “The thing about Europe is it doesn’t necessarily translate in terms of points and assists [to the NBA]. You’ve got to look at the talent, you’ve got to look at game IQ and you’ve got to look at age.”

    Despite Rubio and his family’s preference to play on an East coast team, the Mavs hold a 12% chance of acquiring Rubio’s services.

New York Knicks

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    NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30:  Carmelo Anthony #7 of the New York Knicks shoots over Kris Humphries #43 of the New Jersey Nets at Madison Square Garden on March 30, 2011 in New York City. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloadin
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    As the New York Times puts it ever so nicely, “Always the youngest pro player on the court, Rubio found it natural to act as a selfless distributor and to defer to those with seniority.” 

    To put it lightly, the thought of Rubio teaming with 8-year veteran Amaré Stoudemire and 7-year vet Carmelo Anthony would be absolutely ridiculous (in a good way).

    The New York Knicks would become scary-good. They would have one of the leagues’ best ‘Big 3’ combination and would also permit Rubio time to acclimate to the NBA-game while 'Melo and Amaré take over on the offensive end.

    While the future of Chauncy Billups in a Knicks’ uni is still up for debate, Rubio would be a perfect, young candidate to work in the Knicks’ imposing game-play and would also create a deadly pick-and-roll combo with Stoudemire.

    As “the [Rubio] family preference is to be on the East Coast, specifically New York, Miami or Boston,” Rubio would be a great fit at MSG, giving this a 21% probability of happening.

Minnesota Timberwolves

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    NEW YORK - JUNE 25:  NBA Commissioner David Stern poses for a photograph with the fifth overall draft pick by the Minnesota Timberwolves,  Ricky Rubio during the 2009 NBA Draft at the Wamu Theatre at Madison Square Garden June 25, 2009 in New York City. N
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Selecting Ricky Rubio with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves should still be seen as the favorites to land Rubio for the sole reason that they still hold the rights to his contract.

    Rubio is a fine prospect with the ability to flash All-Star fundamentals and jaw-dropping performances and the 'Wolves would be happy to eventually trot him out on a day-to-day basis.

    With heavy speculation from analysts and fans alike, dooming Rubio’s tenure in Minnesota before it even has began, T’wolves President of basketball operations David Kahn has gone on record to ESPN to dispel any negative rumors.

    Addressing speculation that Rubio would rather play in Europe than in Minnesota, Kuhn said, “It wasn’t an issue of him having any concern about Minnesota whatsoever. I think at the end of the day he just felt that him having a couple more years in Europe would be the smart and prudent thing for him to do.”

    He ends with the interview with, “I believe to this day that Ricky will prove to be a very special NBA player, and I fully expect him to be here.”

    I guess a little optimism could eventually go a long way. The Timberwolves get a 57% shot at keeping Rubio. Very promising if I do say so myself.