The latest news this afternoon on the Ricky Rubio buyout situation came from Ric Bucher at ESPN:
Spanish star Ricky Rubio’s move to the NBA has been complicated by his sliding to fifth in the draft, but the only options he’s currently considering are playing in Minnesota or returning to DKV Joventut, sources said on Tuesday.
Had Rubio been a top three pick, he could have more easily afforded to pay Joventut to release him, a source said. But the difference in salary between third and fifth in the draft is roughly $600,000 a year. Joventut reportedly is asking for no less than $4 million for his release.
Going to another European team is not a realistic option because that team would want a long-term commitment from Rubio and his desire remains to play in the NBA, a source said. Whether he can do that next season or when his Joventut contract expires two years from now is the question.
In any case, Rubio apparently has no objections to playing in Minnesota.
“This isn’t about Minnesota,” a source said. “It’s about the buyout.”
Although the Wolves drafted another point guard in Syracuse’s Jonny Flynn on June 25, a source said Minnesota is dedicated to having Rubio on the team next season.
This to me has to be good news for Wolves fans. Obviously we have to take everything with a grain of salt in this situation and with sources but the fact that the report is only about the buyout and not cold-weather, small-market, already have Jonny Flynn at point guard, Minnesota is something all Wolves fans should be quietly doing back-flips in their rooms over. Personally I think this moves the odds in the Wolves favor to see him suiting up for us this fall in the 70-80% range mostly because the alternative for DVK Joventut for him to go back and play and not pay anything is the opposite of what they want to happen as they desperately need the money. Again this is really good poker by Rubio’s camp and the Wolves to force DKV to lower the buyout. Maybe I should have had Fegan coming up with the masterful plot when I speculated about the conversation between him and Kahn on draft night.
Fearless Howlin’ Prediction: A couple more weeks and Rubio’s camp will knock the buyout down to $3 million and he’ll be on his way to play for your Minnesota Timberwolves. Press Conference to introduce him: August 11.