Rubio’s contract remains problemMINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn said point guard Ricky Rubio’s buyout situation is “still very problematic” and he remains unsure of when the fifth overall pick will come to the United States.
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota Timberwolves president David Kahn said point guard Ricky Rubio’s buyout situation is “still very problematic” and he remains unsure of when the fifth overall pick will come to the United States.
Rubio has two years remaining on his contract with DKV Joventut Badalona, his professional team in Spain, and has yet to be able to negotiate down a buyout number that is at least $6.6 million.
“I believe his representatives are working diligently to get a solution. I have no idea at this point whether a solution can be reached. But I believe we kind of know what the parameters are and I think that we have a chance,” Kahn said Monday after announcing that Lakers assistant Kurt Rambis will be the team’s next head coach. “But I wouldn’t even begin to state the percentage toward that chance of this being accomplished this season versus next season or even two seasons. It’s still very problematic.”
The Timberwolves selected Rubio with the No. 5 pick in the June draft, right before choosing another point guard in Jonny Flynn at No. 6.
But they can only contribute $500,000 toward the buyout under NBA rules, which handicaps their ability to convince an 18-year-old kid who made just $97,000 to make a huge financial commitment to chase his dream in the league.
After watching other teams in Spain submit much larger buyout offers to Joventut, Kahn said that NBA limit may need to be re-examined at some point.
“The buyout amount is a very steep amount,” he said. “Unfortunately for us, the Timberwolves, we have to play this with one hand tied behind our back.”
There was talk initially that Rubio did not want to play in the chilly, small market in Minnesota. But Kahn, who traveled to Spain to meet with Rubio’s family and officials from Joventut, echoed comments made by owner Glen Taylor last week that that is not the case.
Kahn called the buyout element “the singular issue” that is preventing Rubio from joining the Wolves.