Wolves maintain Rubio is coming

  • Article by: JERRY ZGODA , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 6, 2011 - 11:48 AM

In an interview in Spain, the point guard suggested NBA labor unrest could keep him in Europe another year.

Ricky Rubio

Photo: Darko Vojinovic, Associated Press

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

SAN FRANCISCO - Tuesday's Internet headlines out of Spain again suggested Ricky Rubio's arrival in the NBA very well could be further delayed, but Timberwolves basketball boss David Kahn maintains -- as he has for months -- that he expects the 20-year-old point guard to play in Minnesota next season.

In a radio interview, Rubio said his dream still is to follow countryman Pau Gasol's path to the NBA, but said he might wait another season, particularly if NBA owners lock out players this summer.

Rubio said a lockout would be an "important" factor in making his decision, although Rubio could choose to sign with the Wolves this spring before the league's current collective bargaining agreement expires rather than risk terms of a new deal that could be significantly less lucrative if owners get their way.

Rubio said he will decide his future after this season, which could stretch into June. If he decided to leave for the NBA, he said he'll talk to his current club "and the NBA club, which right now is Minnesota."

The Wolves sent three representatives to Europe to visit Rubio and his family in February and Kahn plans a May trip to Barcelona.

Wolves forward Kevin Love also has struck up a relationship with Rubio, whom he met in August when his USA World Championship team played Rubio and the Spanish national team in an exhibition game in Madrid.

"I still text him every now and then," Love said after the Wolves practiced at a San Francisco health club. "Not too often, once or twice a month. I've always said I hope he comes over sooner rather than later so we can get this thing started."

Rubio said he recognizes he needs to get his confidence and his shot back and said he is not playing at his best at the moment.

Asked if he thinks Rubio has NBA game, Love said: "Oh yeah, and NBA confidence. That's what exuded from him. He was sure of himself and that's a big part of the game, having the confidence to go out there and compete against guys every night. I thought he was a tremendous passer and he's a guy who has the size to play at the 1 [point guard] at the NBA level.

"He's not 6-5 or 6-4 like they say he is. He's more like 6-3, but you can tell he has really long arms. That helps him make passes and being able to defend, too. He gets his hands on a lot of balls."

The Wolves drafted Rubio fifth overall in 2009, but he signed a six-year contract with Regal Barcelona that summer rather than pay millions out of his own pocket after Kahn reached a buyout agreement with his Joventut team. On draft night, he expressed a desire to play in a bigger, warmer media market than Minneapolis.

His current six-year contract allows a $1 million-plus buyout after this season. NBA rules allow the Wolves to pay $500,000 of that. The Wolves retain his rights as long as Rubio plays professionally in Europe. He would have to sit out an entire season in order to go back in the NBA draft and be selected by another team.

"The sooner he gets over here, the quicker he's going to adapt and the better he's going to get," Love said. "He has had a lot of hype surrounding him. It'll mean a lot for the fans. It'll make the game more exciting. By the way he was talking about it, he does want to come over here and I do think he'll play for our team.

"If not, it'll be tough. I would love to play with him. I think he will come over and play here. I definitely think he'll play here."

  • related content

  • Wolves-Utah game preview

    Tuesday March 15, 2011

    Preview: The Wolves practiced in San Francisco on Monday and Tuesday after Sunday's 101-77 loss at Golden State and flew to Utah late Tuesday afternoon for Wednesday's night game. Starting...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Dallas 12:00 PM
Washington
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
Houston
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Miami
Chicago 12:00 PM
Minnesota
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Atlanta
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Denver
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Seattle
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
UAB 58 FINAL
North Carolina 89
IUPUI 55 FINAL
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
UNLV 79
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Texas
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
Stanford
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
Minnesota
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Pittsburgh
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
Tennessee
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
Florida
SMU 45 FINAL
(2) Connecticut 96
UCF 64 FINAL
Houston 50
BYU 62 FINAL
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite pro sports coach in the Twin Cities?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close