Posted by: Kingsguru21 | August 26, 2009

Ricky Rubio musings

Right now, there is a lot of people saying that David Kahn is an idiot. They may be right; they may not. I do not know. What I do know is that selecting Rubio at 5th overall and letting him play in Spain for the next 2 years in Barcelona doesn’t actually represent terrible things for the Wolves.

I like what Wyn of Canis Hoopus had to say in this Ball Don’t Lie post. Plenty of good conversation going on at Canis Hoopus as well in this spot and this spot. That all being said, what’s interesting is that fans think this is an apocalypse. There are some saying that the Kings were right to not take Rubio, and that this only proves it so.

What do I believe? I think the Wolves got lucky here. Ricky Rubio won’t even turn 19 until late October. He’s going to the best club team in Spain (Regal Barcelona) and will be playing for a team that will compete for a EuroLeague title. (Barcelona made the EuroLeague Final 4 last year. I don’t know how they did in the ACB playoffs. I don’t care.) Plus, he’ll be able to play alongside JC Navarro (he of the year detour with the Memphis Grizzlies) as a SG/PG combo. That could give great insight to Kahn (and Rambis) in how they’ll be able to utilize Rubio if and when he gets to the NBA.

Rubio could be a flop, yes. Rubio could flail in the ACB the next 2 seasons, and struggle in the EuroLeague competition the next few year’s. He also could thrive. He won’t be hurt by playing at that high level of competition, and he won’t be hurt by playing with the caliber of players that are on Barcelona. (Former 2005 11th overall pick Fran Vazquez, who is very strange reportedly, also plays for Barcelona. David Andersen, the new addition to the Rockets this off-season, played there last season. These guys are not awful despite what some may believe.)

But, if Rubio flops in the ACB the next 2 seasons, than practically many people will be fooled about his talent. There are many fans who want to believe in the greatness of Rubio, and why should that change now? The kid is only 18 at the moment. It’s not like he’s reached the pinnacle of maturity, strength or achievement. The last time a player was reported to come stateside, and than have circumstances change it, was one Peja Stojakovic. I’m not saying that will work out the way for the Wolves, but it can’t possibly hurt them to have a 21 year old Rubio come over to the team as opposed to a barely 19 year old in the NBA. There is going to be a steep learning curve for Rubio in the NBA, and frankly, I see some of that curve being diminished by Rubio playing for the best club team in Spain. The competition, both in the ACB, and EuroLeague that he will get will force him to play at a higher level than he ever has before.

May I remind he’s only 18? Players like JC Navarro, Jose Calderon (you’ve heard of him right?), Sergio Llull are among the best PG’s to play in the Spanish Leagues recently. Rubio is repudiated to be better than all of them. Now, we will see that’s true. Still, as an asset who is playing at a high caliber of level, who will be far better paid than he was at Joventut, and against the high caliber of competition, I don’t really see what Minnesota has lost here.

This is assuming that the deal between Joventut and Barcelona goes through. At the moment, multiple places have cited David Kahn as saying it’s not true. (I think that’s PR spin though.)

I also think that the point that Rubio will get more money from Barcelona than he did from Joventut, along with the possibility of a reduced buyout, will make it far more palatable that he will be more likely to skip the pond in 2 years. There is this idea that Rubio doesn’t want to come over to the NBA, but the truth is, Rubio didn’t sell himself to Barcelona. That was his team that did that. So, it’s really not all over for the Wolves quite yet. Will Wolves fans be mad? Of course. I don’t blame them. I know how they feel. But, this could mean a better Rubio who will be more likely to succeed. There is little to lose by this happening.


How does this impact the Kings? Quite honestly, it doesn’t. I believe Rubio would have negotiated a buyout already if he was selected by the Kings. He would have found a way to make payment’s or get a loan. There were options, in otherwords. What was not there for him at the 5th overall pick was that same type of leverage simply because the type of money he would have gotten would not have covered all of the buyout. That was the difference.

Beyond any of that, however, does it matter? Not to me. If GP & Co. wanted Rubio, they would have had him. He wanted to be here, and he jumped through several hoops to convince GP & Co. that he was their PG of the future. They took Tyreke Evans instead. What does that tell me? They think that Rubio has a chance to be a star in the league, but they believe Evans has franchise player potential. Yes, Evans is too young himself to say he’s an automatic franchise player, and it’s way too early to bandy that type of talk about just yet.

What do I know? I know that Ricky Rubio’s situation is not a reason the Kings didn’t take him. (I don’t care what GP said about Rubio not coming over this season. It doesn’t matter in any real context.) They took Tyreke Evans because they thought he was a franchise player with high amounts of upside. That’s all the news that’s needed to print here.

(Note: I do repeat myself on purpose.)

But, if you want to rosterbate yourself to death go right ahead. The rest of us who live on Planet Earth (all 5 of us) will be glad to have you back when you return.


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