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   |   Pat   |   5234 respect

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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9/9/09   |  


8/31/09   |   mnstar1959   |   376 respect

lleedubb wrote:
This whole "Tricky Ricky" situation is getting on my nerves!!

It's not on my nerves but it sure is frustrating and embrassing

8/31/09   |   truely   |   77 respect

big Bill Lambeir is joining the coaching staff

8/31/09   |   aos035   |   68 respect

(Edited by aos035)

Since they got Joventut's best player, I dought that they could lose.

8/31/09   |   mk_donley   |   2554 respect

It wouldnt surprise me, if the T-Wolves lose to Joventut; but that's me.

8/31/09   |   lleedubb   |   32 respect

This whole "Tricky Ricky" situation is getting on my nerves!!

8/31/09   |   drn0iswatr   |   731 respect

what if the Timberwolves lose? I think you mean when the Timberwolves lose. I would be real hesitant to go play overseas if I were them....

8/31/09   |   ojekeme1   |   600 respect

For the team to help facilitate sponsorships (endorsements) for Rubio is a huge step. I can just see the Timberwolves now advertising Motorola or somebody on their jersey's like in the international game.

Separately, a loss by the Timberwolves to Joventut would not be a huge issue. Several NBA teams have lost to international touring teams during pre-season scrimmages over the past 5-10 years. In each case it has been one of the 'bottom-feeders' and it has been a story for about a day or two.

As a fan I would like to see NBA teams have exhibitions with some of the better European teams more regularly.

It would lend to and already tremendous overseas marketing effort that the NBA has overtaken in the past decade.

It would also help to expedite the rules changes that (are in my opinion) are long overdue to bring NBA, NCAA, and FIBA all under a more similar set of rules.

Lastly it would actually help NBA players who with the exception of the 'Redeem Team's' gold medal in the 2008 Olympics; have had a difficult time adapting to the style of play favored by international clubs in international play over the past two decades.

8/31/09   |   billywa   |   658 respect

You mean there could be something more embarrassing than drafting a guy with the same hair cut as his 8-year old brother?

8/31/09   |   Heyhey1970   |   194 respect

(Edited by Heyhey1970)

I think the situation is enough of a concern for the NBA that David Stern should be "advising" the Timberwolves and working through back-channels on their behalf.