World class talent, incredible court vision, Maravich like passing ability, the next great European basketball player; these are all phrases that have been connected with Ricky Rubio over the past month. There is still one phrase missing, where is he going to play next season? There have been reports all across the news that Rubio will be either finish out his contract in Badalona with DKV Joventut for the next two seasons, or that he is willing to accept Joventut’s buyout terms and come play for the Timberwolves, or that he is looking to play for another team in Spain or Europe. Let’s look at each of these possibilities and see how likely they are to happen next season:
1. Rubio Plays for DKV Joventut- If Rubio were to go back to his old team and play in Badalona again next season he would be playing for a mediocre salary in the 100,000 to 200,000 dollars range. The kicker is that he wouldn’t have to pay the $5.7 million dollar buyout he owes the team, so really he’s saving money there. If Rubio were to stay with Joventut he would probably be there for the next two years to avoid paying his buyout. Joventut is not in the Euroleague though next season and will only be competing in the still very competitive Spanish ACB League. The only reason Rubio would stay with Joventut is because he is trying to save money, otherwise I see him playing elsewhere next season. Chances he stays with DKV: 20 %.
2. Rubio Plays for Another European Team- There has been talk that teams in the Euroleague including Spanish teams Unicaja Malaga and Real Madrid are interested in Rubio’s services. Other teams in Turkey and Russia have shown interest but if Rubio were to stay in Europe for another year or two he would probably stay in his home country of Spain. These teams are offering 1 to 2 million dollar deals that have player termination options after the first year, so Rubio could go to the NBA. Rubio would still be playing against some of the best players in the world and getting paid a fairly large chunk to do so. Rubio will go to another European team if his lawsuit with Joventut gets settled and if he still does not like his situation with Minnesota. Chances he goes to another European Team: 30%.
3. Rubio Plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves- This is Ricky Rubio’s dream of playing in the NBA sitting right in front of him and he just has to figure out a way to make it happen. Two things are holding Rubio back from playing for Minnesota next season; his buyout and the fact that it seems like he doesn’t want to play for the Timberwolves. Rubio was turned off by Minnesota because they drafted another point guard in the next pick after Rubio in Jonny Flynn, they play in the snowy city of Minneapolis, and they aren’t a big American market. Rubio is getting way too picky about what American city he wants to play basketball in and he just needs to come over to America and show that he can play in the NBA. It doesn’t look like Minnesota is interested in trading him either, so he will have to stick it out in Minneapolis. I think his desire in to play in the NBA is too high for him to not come over as soon as he can, even if he might not want to play in Minnesota. Chances Rubio play in for Minnesota next season: 50 %.