By Jerry Zgoda
Spanish media outlet Marca reports Ricky Rubio is set to sign a 6-year deal with Regal Barcelona that will include a buyout clause that could bring him to the NBA and the Timberwolves in 2011. If it comes to pass, Rubio’s transfer from DKV Joventut to Barcelona will be the most expensive buyout ($5.3 million) in Europe basketball history.
David Kahn said this in a statement, “Based on the information I have attained today, no team in any league has reached a deal with DKV Joventut concerning Ricky’s buyout, which must be accomplished before Ricky is released from his contract.”
Right now, this whole thing is a game of negotiating chicken with Rubio’s DKV Joventut team trying to extract the most of that $8 million buyout it can from either a European team or Rubio himself (remember the Wolves by NBA rules can only pay $500,000 of the buyout while European teams have no limits).
It still makes most sense that Rubio signs with the Wolves for this season because agent Dan Fegan knows the NBA collective bargaining agreement — and its rookie pay scale — could change significantly (and not in a good way) if his client remains in Europe two years and doesn’t sign an NBA contract until at least 2011, which is the summer when the current CBA is set to expire.
The X Factor is whether Rubio, for whatever reason, decides he’d rather stay at home in Spain rather than leave at age 18 for NBA.
The big issue, though, remains that buyout with Joventut, of course. Any team wanting Rubio in its uniform come October needs to solve that first.
On other matters:
* The Wolves have moved their preseason opener in Mankato against Milwaukee up a day, to Sunday Oct. 4 from Monday Oct. 5. They open camp there in that week leading up to that game.
* When Kurt Rambis was hired a couple weeks, both he and Kahn said they hoped the coaching staff would be in place by Sept. 1.
The other day, Kahn said the team was “a long ways away” when I asked him if Bill Laimbeer and Reggie Theus were going to join Dave Wohl on Rambis’ staff.
He wouldn’t comment on either fellow, saying “I wouldn’t want to see anybody get hurt.”
Recast from Jerry Zgoda’s Twitter feed: http://twitter.com/JerryZgoda