Thursday, July 23, 2009

Rubio Reportedly Wants Out of Spanish Contract

Reports surfaced on Wednesday that Timberwolves #1 draft pick Ricky Rubio wants out of his contract with Spanish professional team DKV Joventut Badalona, regardless of whether or not he signs with the Wolves.

Jerry Zgoda reports that basketball operations chief David Kahn is currently meeting with Rubio representatives in Spain looking to negotiate the buyout amount downward. According to NBA rules, the Timberwolves' organization can only contribute a maximum of $500,000 toward any professional league buyout clause, and Rubio's buyout is estimated at around $6M US. Kahn apparently has a list of local corporations who are prepared to sign Rubio to immediate endorsement deals amounting to around $4M, which Rubio could then contribute directly to his Joventut buyout.

Much is still left to be settled, but it apparently will come to a close within the next few days. Spanish teams Real Madrid and Barcelona (they play basketball, too?) are reportedly also interested in Rubio, and the flashy point guard could end up there instead of the Wolves.

This is clearly good news for Wolves fans. Rubio is apparently willing to listen to Kahn's offers and is open to coming to Minnesota for next season. Of course, as I have written before, having him develop in Europe for two seasons is fine as well because he then comes to the Wolves as a more polished 20 year-old player. However, this organization definitely needs a shot of energy, and Rubio would certainly provide the interest. In a basketball sense, the Wolves have room for him now, especially after the summertime trades of Randy Foye, Mike Miller, and Sebastian Telfair. The Jonny Flynn situation would still need to be addressed, but that would be tomorrow's problem.

Still, the Timberwolves are in good shape either way if Rubio signs with another European team or if he develops on the job in the NBA with Minnesota.

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