Blog Entry

No surprise: Rubio staying overseas (UPDATE)

Posted on: August 31, 2009 8:52 pm
Edited on: August 31, 2009 11:21 pm
It took David Kahn three trips to Spain to learn what he essentially already knew: Ricky Rubio will remain overseas for two more years.

That much seemed apparent on draft night, when Rubio expressed as little enthusiasm for playing in Minnesota as a human being could possibly express. Kahn, the house-cleaning GM of the Timberwolves, knew when he selected Rubio with the fifth pick that having him on the roster this season was a long shot. So it goes.

Yahoo! Sports first reported Monday night that Rubio and agent Dan Fegan have agreed to a six-year deal with Regal FC Barcelona. It was the Barcelona club -- and not Kahn's Timberwolves -- that after weeks of uncertainty was able to negotiate a buyout with Rubio's Spanish team, JKV Joventut, a high-level coaching source confirmed to Naturally, there is an out clause in Rubio's deal with Barcelona after two years. This means that the T-Wolves are going to have to do exactly what Kahn said on draft night he was willing to do: Wait until Rubio is 20 years old before seeing him in Minnesota.

So if nothing else, at least the Rubio situation is resolved. At least the T-Wolves can move forward with a perfectly good explanation for drafting point guard Jonny Flynn one pick after Rubio. Say what you want about Kahn -- and plenty have and will continue to -- but he didn't budge from his draft night premise that he was willing to wait a couple of years for Rubio. So Rubio will mature and get better -- albeit against sub-NBA competition -- and Kahn's team will begin the rebuilding process with a very capable point guard in Flinn. Can the two play together in the same backcourt in 2011-12? Time will tell. But in the meantime, Kahn moves forward with a formidable asset in Rubio. Even if he never plays a single game in Minnesota.

Kahn is quickly becoming the most mysterious executive in the NBA, tearing a page straight from the book written by his mentor, Donnie Walsh. He is humorless and needs to brush up on his people skills -- despite the fact that he's a former member of the media. (Maybe this explains why he is a former member.) But I'll give him credit for this much: It took a certain amount of gumption to welcome a controversy like this with the very first and most important decision of his regime. Whether it ultimately works out or not is very much an unknown. Say Kahn is in over his head if you want; you might ultimately be correct. But I have no problem giving Kahn credit for being unafraid of Fegan and all the contractual entanglements that came with Rubio. Enjoy Barcelona, Ricky. See you in 2011.

Category: NBA

Since: Sep 2, 2009
Posted on: September 2, 2009 4:32 am

No surprise: Rubio staying overseas (UPDATE)

Did anyone really expect them to buy out JKV Joventut's contract? Unlike some of the other leagues, the NBA does the right thing and pays the veterans more money than rookies and other young players. The T-Wolves were looking at $500,000 that they could play with- Not much to say the least. However, owners can find other ways to supplement their players' contracts. Obviously, Kahn didn't have the ideas or the funds to keep Rubio around. I could care less. I think Johnny Flynn is the one of the future premier point guards in the league.

Since: Aug 24, 2006
Posted on: September 1, 2009 10:17 pm

No surprise: Rubio staying overseas (UPDATE)

I said it from the start, no way a team like Minnesota could wait on Rubio to mature. They are one of the 4 worst teams in the NBA, so they need help now. The other teams knew this, which is the only reason that he was there with the 5th pick.  Ateam like the Lakers, Celtics, or some other team in a similar situation could afford to wait, but not the Timberwolves. I thought that Mchale was gone, but evidently some fumes remain from the past. Way to go Timberwolves. I am guessing that being a cellar dweller is becoming habit forming.

Since: Aug 25, 2007
Posted on: September 1, 2009 3:23 pm

No surprise: Rubio staying overseas (UPDATE)

This really wasn't Kahn's idea anyway. When Rubio was sitting there after Tyreke Evans went #4 Kahn knew he just hit one of those lucky moments you look back on for a long time. Whether the luck is good or bad will play out over time.

Rubio going back two years was stated to have been a consensus top 5 pick were he eligible. He is not a mystery. Then he showed up at the Olympics and the likes of Jason Kidd and Kobe Bryant started talking about how this kid was a can't miss NBA superstar. Not "good NBA player" (like most 1st rounders) but they used the word SUPERSTAR.

So Kahn is sitting there saying, do I pass this kid up TWICE with picks 5 and 6? Now can you imagine if you pass him up and he turns out to be the Superstar that the mosted talented payers in the league who've gone up against him predict he will be.

Were the T-Wolves a playoff caliber team looking to add pieces to enhance playoff success you can argue that waiting two years for an 18 year old is too risky and you can live with leaving him out there.

When you ain't going anywhere with or without him you have no choice but to grab the asset and try to make it work. Worst case scenario is you get a 20 year old rookie with two more years of development playing all the minutes in everygame he's in. He's locked down later into his twenties in his rookie contract as well.

Good move by Kahn he 's playing the very good card he was dealt..............  

Since: Mar 18, 2009
Posted on: September 1, 2009 3:06 pm

No surprise: Rubio staying overseas (UPDATE)

What part of "Rubio would not have been available at #5 if he didn't have the buyout issues" do you not understand.

The Wolves are taking a chance that Rubio even if they have to wait two years is a better pick the Steph Curry.  They may be dead wrong and Curry is an All-Star and Rubio is a bust but the Draft is all about taking chances on potential. 

Since: Nov 24, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2009 2:44 pm

No surprise: Rubio staying overseas (UPDATE)


i can't beleive the T-Wolves are really happy about waiting another 2 years.  Top 5 NBA picks are special and waiting another 2 years just to have this one play is absurd.  If i was a T-Wolves fan i'd be furious and wanting the GMs head on a platter over this.

Since: May 2, 2008
Posted on: September 1, 2009 2:24 pm

No surprise: Rubio staying overseas (UPDATE)

I hear that Tony Parker guy is pretty good Wink

Since: Aug 26, 2009
Posted on: September 1, 2009 2:02 pm

No surprise: Rubio staying overseas (UPDATE)

Of course doesn't everyone want their team to get better?  Yes, I as a MN fan am somewhat biased as well, but you know I am able to remove myself somewhat and look at it from a basketball point of view.  Rubio was a question so we got a sure thing in Flynn.  The Wolves are a desperate organization for some looking for some excitement and we've gotten it.  Why would we pick Derozan with as many questions as Rubio? The remote possibility that Rubio may play here has been far more exciting than Derozan or some other player.  Everyone has seem to have forgotten that the Wolves also picked Ellington and traded one of their first rond picks in this years weak draft for a 1st round pick next year.  If MN is such a terrible place to play then how was it that Rambis has agreed to coach here?  Why would he ruin his career by coming to such a terrible place?  Be a dedicatied fan of your teams, but don't be stupid and ignorant.  If any other team had done the same thing by picking Rubio then this would not be nearly as bad.  I've had more than one conversation before the draft with people about how, given the Wolves situation, the media would tear the Wolves apart no matter what they did.  It's been far to easy to tear apart the Wolves and they have deserved much of the criticism.  The mainstream media wants to see all the interesting players in the big markets because it makes them more money.  If you don't understand how this all works then you're not paying attention. 

Since: Aug 26, 2009
Posted on: September 1, 2009 1:35 pm

No surprise: Rubio staying overseas (UPDATE)

How would you know about the make-up of the population in Minnesota?  Have you ever been here?  We don't care whether he plays here or he gets traded.  The Wolves drafted for value.  Rubio was projected to go as high as 2 during the run up to the draft and the Wolves picked him up at 5.  Should they have passed on him twice and then listen to the media tear the organization apart when/if Rubio turns into a great player?  Try to think about this from an objective point of view rather than reguritating media sound bytes.

Since: Sep 12, 2006
Posted on: September 1, 2009 1:31 pm

No surprise: Rubio staying overseas (UPDATE)

I am surprised at people bashing Kahn for "wasting" the number 5 well as the comment in the article that the T-Wolves failed to buyout Rubio's contract.

The European teams could pay all of his buyout, which I think was about $8M.  An NBA team could only pay $500k.  If you were Rubio, would you go to the NBA to make $3.5M (or whatever his salary would have been on the rookie scale) and then go in debt $3.5M, hoping for endorsements?  It made no financial sense for Rubio to come to the NBA unless he was the 2nd pick in the draft. 

This is a great move by Kahn.  He did not "waste" a pick....he had stockpiled picks, and had the very next pick in the draft, taking the next best PG.  The T-Wolves are rebuilding, they have more picks stock piled for the next couple of years thanks to other trades, plenty of cap space to make a free agent splash in the big free agent buy of 2010, and then can add Rubio to the puzzle in 2011. 

A very good long term plan, to build a successful franchise for years to come...not just to hope for one lucky good year. 

I like what Kahn has done.  He is making basketball interesting for a franchise that lost most of its fans (at least myself anyway) when Kevin Garnett was traded.

Since: Jun 5, 2009
Posted on: September 1, 2009 12:44 pm

No surprise: Rubio staying overseas (UPDATE)

To all of those saying that Rubio would've played in the NBA if he would've been traded to a large market, you certainly are basing that on nothing other than misinformed, media speculation.  Has his agent ever made that claim?  Has Rubio ever made that claim? No.  I'm not a Wolves fan, however, by making statements like that, you're only spreading ignorance.  What did Rubio have to say on the matter? ""The reason leading me to take this next step is to have a period of preparation to better take the challenge of the NBA in better conditions as a player." "The Minnesota Timberwolves continue to be my first option and I wish to play with them in the near future."

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or