Timberwolves May Be Working On A Deal To Pay For Ricky Rubio's Buyout

The Timberwolves Are Getting Tricky With Ricky Rubio's Buyout, And It Could Be An Embarrassing Mistake

8/31/09 in NBA

The disaster that has been the Minnesota Timberwolves' 5th overall pick in the NBA Draft could be coming to an end sometime sooner than we all anticipated.

Ricky Rubio's buyout from Joventut, his Spanish team, is about $5.3M. But the T-Wolves can only pay $500,000 of that, and they can only pay Rubio so much money to take care of it himself. If they signed him to a normal contract, Rubio would be basically playing for free, and we all know that's not going to happen.

So Minnesota GM Kevin Kahn is finally doing his job, and trying to get a little fancy to make up for his complete lack of pre-draft research. After all, that's why he's in this mess to begin with.

The Star-Tribune describes some of the possible madness that Kahn might come up with:

"Any deal likely will include not only the $500,000 the Wolves can pay but also a tapestry of other creative financing expected to include endorsement deals for Rubio (most of the buyout money technically will come from his own pocket) and the promise of a Timberwolves exhibition game or games against Joventut in Spain (Oct. 10, 2010, already is a targeted date)."

The endorsement money makes sense. Rubio already has some commercials with Gillette, appearing with guys like Roger Federer and Tiger Woods in television commercials. If his commercial partners are any indication, Rubio definitely has the potential to earn some huge dollars.

The other stipulation sounds pretty interesting as well. An exhibition game between the Timberwolves and Joventut would definitely bring in some money for Joventut, and many people in Spain would likely be excited to see a local product like Rubio come back with an NBA team.

But... what if the Timberwolves lose? Or, what if this becomes a regular occurrence, and an NBA team loses to Joventut, or another European team loaded with the best stars money can buy? That could be a huge black eye on the NBA, and tarnish its reputation as the premiere basketball league in the world.

I'm not saying that it's likely, and I think the Timberwolves would handle Joventut pretty easily, even though the T-Wolves aren't exactly the cream of the crop in the NBA. But... what if?

Stakes of Kahn's latest trip: Rubio -- and his reputation [Star-Tribune]
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