Mar 15, 2011, 11:26 AM EDT
Despite what Timberwolves brass has insisted, it has never made sense for Ricky Rubio to leave Barcelona and come to the NBA next season. Because it doesn’t make sense to walk into a likely lockout that could cost games. Why leave one of the top teams in Europe, Barcelona, where you are a rock star, to come here and potentially not get paid and have no place to play?
Sounds like he is willing to wait it out.
In an interview with Spanish sports publication Marca he hinted he might wait and that the lockout will be a factor when he makes his decision (via Hoopshype, which did the translation of the quote as well).
“I do have interest in the NBA, but not as in right away…”
“I signed a six-year contract with a buyout option after the second season. If I leave this year I would have to pay an amount of money and that’s it. It’s a unilateral decision that I have to make, although if I had to leave at any time, I would talk to the club and the NBA franchise, which is currently Minnesota…”
“Going to the NBA is a dream; every good Spanish player wants to follow Gasol’s steps because he’s a role model…”
This is a question of when, not if. He will come to the NBA someday. But when matters. Minnesota is trying to sell hope and Rubio is a key part of that, so they speak of how good their relationship is and how he is coming soon.
If you read the entire article (via Google translation as we did), Rubio sounds patient. He has to make a decision on buying out his contract before the July 1 deadline on when the NBA players and owners must come to a deal or a lockout starts. And even the optimistic Jared Dudley says there is a 90 percent chance of a lockout. Plus, remember that the Timberwolves can only pay $500,000 of the $1.4 million buyout — the rest comes out of Rubio’s pocket.
It’s unclear what the buyout provision is in future years, that also will be a factor, although that is something that could be renegotiated.