Brace yourself like overbite ladies and gentlemen.
If you're a Minnesota Timberwolves fan, you have probably exalted all the patience possible with this franchise. In the 2009 NBA draft, the Minnesota Timberwolves took Ricky Rubio with the fifth overall pick in hopes that he would instantly jolt the Wolves into a new found existence. Instead, he opted to stay overseas with a plan to make the jump to the NBA after two years and join the Minnesota Timberwolves.
If you follow basketball, there isn't too much to provide insight on Ricky Rubio regarding the Minnesota Timberwolves at this point. Despite the draft lottery being today, let's devote our attention to Ricky Rubio. Signs are indicating that Ricky is finally going to make a jump to the NBA and his team will be the Timberwolves.
After two years it's hard for me to believe much of any hype with this franchise, but seeing how there's some valid reasoning concerning this subject, Rubio's arrival is very possible.
Word is that Ricky Rubio has communicated to Barcelona his intention of departing when the season ends. When Rubio was drafted in 2009, he communicated prior to the season end with his current ballclub that he was leaving.
In the midst of a season, this obviously caused some complications within the franchise and the fanbase. I assume that he won't make the decision to announce his departure in the midst of a season out of respect for his ball club.
Factors rumored going into the decision
- The insistence and interest showed all the time by the Timberwolves. Minnesota has been very interested from the get-go. They have traveled overseas several times, and GM David Kahn has sent numerous scouts to watch him play. I get the feeling that Rubio as well as his family, feels welcomed
- The expiration of the rookie salary scale. If Rubio signs now he will be signing under the current rookie salary scale. If he were to opt and wait for another year to sign with the Timberwolves, then he wouldn't be subject to the rookie scale contracts, and presumably could sign for as much money as the Wolves would like. However, taking a chance on a new labor agreement is risky for Ricky financially, as he does not know what the future holds for these types of situations. Taking a contract now could be a smart move.
- His lack of development in Europe and the fact that he is being fiercely criticized. In essence, his team are a bunch of seasoned veterans who play a slow game. Ricky does not have the ball in his hands much of the time, nor does he have the freedom. This did nothing for his confidence, resulting in his statistics regressing.
Factors that made him doubt
- The lockout and the fact that he could be some months without playing
I've been hearing that Barcelona does not anticipate Rubio staying overseas. I've also heard many interviews and read many articles from StarTribune and the like stating that the Rubio's are looking for a school for his little sister to go to.
David Kahn, the Minnesota Timberwolves GM, claimed to have nothing to report after his visit in Spain with Ricky Rubio about a week ago, but Kahn also had no comments about the Beasley trade the day before it was done. Kevin Love has made a lot of hints in his interviews about Ricky Rubio and they have been in communication since they played against each other in the FIBA's world championship tournament.
It could be a good move for Rubio. Considering the fact that he has been playing professional basketball year round for a few years, if the NBA does go into a lockout, a little time away from basketball could be good.
After all, he's going to have to work on his jump shot, his defensive principles and learning how to live the American lifestyle. It could also be a good way to get acclimated with the state and fanbase of Minnesota and get to learn his teammates. Let's pray that he's forced to get to know a whole new coaching staff as well.
There's speculation around the web that the Minnesota Timberwolves will trade the No. 1 pick away instead of drafting Kyrie Irving and trading Ricky Rubio away. At this point, there's no telling what David Kahn will do, but I will say this.
If David Kahn does trade Ricky Rubio and drafts Kyrie Irving, that's great! But the downside is that Kahn virtually did nothing in the 2009 NBA draft. He drafted Jonny Flynn, Ricky Rubio, traded the No. 18 pick (Ty Lawson) for Martell Webster and also drafted Wayne Ellington.
That means that the 2009 NBA draft was an absolute fail. If Rubio turns into an all-star, then he did OK.
It's compelling to me that there are going to be Wolves fans watching the lottery on ESPN expecting the Wolves to win. It's ridiculous to think that the Wolves could actually be in a situation to save their franchise by making one correct move; but I doubt it. The last two teams that were the worst teams in their respective years to draft No. 1 overall in their respective drafts were the 2003 Cleveland Cavaliers (LeBron James) and the 2004 Orlando Magic (Orlando Magic).
A small dim of light? Just some faint optimism? The only trade I say the Wolves make if they do win the lottery? Trade Rubio to the Clippers for their 2012 pick back. That draft is going to be ridiculously strong.
Thanks for reading!
Timber Wolf is a Analyst for Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @ Timb3r_Wolf.