The “Star-Tribune” reported Wednesday night that the Minnesota Timberwolves have reportedly reached an agreement with Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio to play for the team starting next season. The T-Wolves drafted Rubio with the number five pick in the 2009 NBA Draft but the player chose to play in Spain for the last two years. The paper reported that according to the “Associated Press” a source with knowledge of the deal said that Rubio will play for the team that finished the regular season with the worst record in the Association. The source requested to remain anonymous because Rubio’s team FC Barcelona are still competing in the Euro-League Playoffs.
Last month Timberwolves Team Owner Glen Taylor told reporters that he had been in contact with the guard and he wanted to play in the NBA in the upcoming season but he feared a lockout by Team Owners would keep him on the sidelines if he bought himself out of his contract with the team from Spain. Rubio has an option to buy his way out of his current with FC Barcelona reportedly for $1 million but under NBA by-lines the T-Wolves can only contribute $500,000. That would mean the other half would come out of the player’s pocket. Taylor said ” It’s up to him to either pay them or finance it or whatever he can do, He has given us indications that he’s very interested. But until he signs, I’m really hesitant to say anything. But he’s met with our guys, and it’s been very positive. He’s asked the right questions.”
Apparently the desire to play in the NBA overrode any fears that Rubio has of a work stoppage. Minnesota has two first round picks in the upcoming NBA draft; the second selection as well as the twentieth pick in the first round. There has been speculation that Minnesota may trade one or both of the picks. The NBA Draft takes place on June 23.