Here are five reasons I think it’s a good thing for the Wolves that Ricky Rubio is going to be in Spain until 2011:
1. Jonny Flynn is going to get all the playing time in the world to develop into a solid starting point guard and potentially a star (as Kahn believes he will be).
2. Rambis will not have to deal with juggling two young point guards and the headache added by Kahn in saying that the two could play together.
3. Along with #1+#2, Rambis and his new staff will get to show right away just how good they are at player development primarily with Jonny Flynn (along with Ellington, Brewer as well as Love and Jefferson). Rubio would have complicated the process both with playing time and attention outside of games in practice, etc.
4. Rubio’s asset or trade value doesn’t go down with him playing in Spain the next few years. In fact it probably goes up. Take a look at Draft Express’ 2010 NBA Mock Draft and count the point guards they have going in the first round. (For you lazy people who don’t want to check the list of 30 includes just 2 pgs and 1 pg/sg.) I’m pretty confident that there will be multiple teams looking for a point guard next June that will be willing to give up more than a Randy Foye/Mike Miller package for the Spanish sensation should Kahn choose to move him at that point in time.
5. Ricky gets two more years to mature as a player in his home country of Spain close to his family and will still only be 21 when he’ll be able to come over to the NBA in 2011. Knowing the toll the NBA takes on young players and the adjustments they have to make to the lifestyle I think there’s a good argument out there that Rubio could develop better in Spain than he could here with the Timberwolves.
In the end I really think this is a blessing for the Wolves that Rubio is staying in Spain for two more years. I hate to be a glass-half full guy at every turn (although my personality keeps me almost always positive) and I certainly don’t want to sit here and justify every last move Kahn has made but I can’t help it on this issue. I can’t see what the benefit of Rubio coming over this year would have brought to the team other than maybe some more ticket sales. I think it would have been a struggle for everyone involved (the team, coaching staff, and Kahn) to figure out how Jonny and Ricky fit together and if you believe in Jonny Flynn as I and most Wolves fans do (or seem to so far) then I think this is the best result for the team.
Disagree? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below or via twitter @Howlintwolf.