Minnesota Timberwolves fans most likely have mixed feelings every time they think of Ricky Rubio, the point guard from Spain whom the T-Wolves selected with the fifth pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. On the one hand they have to be extremely frustrated that Minnesota has yet to sign the player to a contract. However those feelings are probably tempered by the fact that the T-Wolves could have a future star in the making if the two sides can ever reach an agreement. Tuesday the “Pioneer Press” reported that yet another stumbling block may preclude Rubio from inking a deal with the Timberwolves this off-season. According to Team Owner Glen Taylor the guard is concerned over the possibility of an NBA lockout and how it would affect him if he decides to come to the Association.
Minnesota would like a commitment from Rubio before the 2011 NBA Draft takes is held on June 23. That would mean that the native of Spain would have to make a decision before the current collective bargaining agreement expires on June 30. Taylor told reporters that the uncertain future of whether there will be games played next season is keeping Rubio from deciding whether to make the move to the NBA.
The T-Wolves Owner said “That is the question. He’s asking how that might affect him, if we don’t play or if we will play. And our answer is, ‘We won’t know the answer to that question. You’re going to have to make your decision before that. We (NBA owners) are negotiating with the players right now. We’re hopeful we’ll play. But I don’t want to guarantee him that because there’s no way that I know that.”
Rubio can 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.”
Minnesota has two first round picks in next month’s draft; the second selection as well as the twentieth pick in the first round. There has been much speculation since the Draft Lottery was held last Tuesday that the team may have interest in trading one or both of the picks.