I have stayed away from really discussing Ricky Rubio. I don’t know why, but I have. Maybe for me it was a one of those situations that, if you don’t talk about it, it will take care of itself. And as of this week, it did not take care of itself….or did it?
Rubio is just eighteen years old. While he has been playing in Spanish professional league’s, he is still only eighteen and has a lot that he can learn before coming over to the NBA. If that is what he really wants to do.
With his former team, DKV Joventut, Rubio was making around $70K a year. Not that much for a board line international phenomenon who showed just what kind of player he can be by holding his own against the US Men’s Team which feature Kobe Bryant and LeBron James.
Understatement of the day: The Minnesota Timberwolves picked a lot of point guards in June’s draft.
Four in all.
After making a Rubio the fifth selection, the T’Wolves picked Jonny Flynn at No. 6, Ty Lawson at No. 18 – Lawson was later traded to the Denver Nuggets. Then finally with No. 45, MN choose Nick Calathes and traded his rights to the Dallas Mavericks. Since then Calathes signed a contract to play in Greece with Panathinaikos.
The only non-point guard the Timberwolves picked was UNC Star Shooting Guard Wayne Ellington at No. 28.
So, the main question everyone would like to pose to new GM David Kahn is this: Why choose Rubio and Flynn is you actually thought Rubio was going to come to the NBA? And a completely legit follow-up would be: If Flynn was the player you wanted, why not pick Flynn and Steph Curry or DeMar DeRozan?
Kahn has responded to like question saying that he fully believed that Flynn and Rubio could play int he same back court. But everyone who knows anything about those two players knows they are almost the same player. Rubio and Flynn are both pass-first point guards. Neither one is dominant scorer and is at their best when others players get easy buckets.
That being said, Flynn did average 17.8 point a game in during the 2008-09 season – his last at Syracuse. Flynn also average 6.7 assist per game while shooting 45 percent from the field. While last season Rubio averaged 9.8 points per game and 5.8 assists and he has never had a season where he has been a double figure scorer.
One major difference is that Flynn has been the leader of his team the past couple years, while Rubio has not. But the confidence to lead and the ability to be a leader can come with age and experince.
So after all that, what do you do? Put yourself in Kahn’s shoes. The answer is easy.
Start Flynn, Ellington, Love, Jefferson and Corey Brewer and let them grow. Let them struggle to win. Let them make their mistakes and let them lose. And through that they will acquire more lottery picks and then when the time comes to reevaluate “if” the Timberwolves want Rubio, they will.
In two or three years, Rubio will only be 20-21. And by that time the Timberwolves, if they can keep the pieces of the puzzle together, you have the potential to add an exciting-young player or you could also trade his rights and get a couple other pieces. Either would be a solid move to cement a team that should have come together and be a playoff contender.
To summarize. I would not have picked Rubio if Flynn is “your guy”. I would have gone with Flynn and DeRozan or Curry. But after the fact, Rubio staying in Spain is th ebest option. It is like a piece of relaestate that will only go up in value. – or something like that.