Rubio set to join Timberwolves
By SPORTS NETWORK
BARCELONA, Spain -- Ricky Rubio has announced that he will join the Minnesota Timberwolves for the 2011-12 season.
The 20-year-old flashy Spanish point guard made the announcement Friday in Spain. He was selected by the Timberwolves with the fifth overall pick of the 2009 draft, but at age 18 decided to remain at home to play for Regal Barcelona.
Minnesota said Friday that Rubio will be introduced at a press conference in the Twin Cities on Tuesday. Terms of the multi-year deal were not disclosed.
"This is a day our organization and our fans have been eagerly awaiting from the moment we drafted him, and I couldn't be more pleased to welcome Ricky to Minnesota," said Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn in a statement Friday. "Ricky's skill set and feel for the game have made him one of the best young players in Europe for six years now, and at age 20 he's still a young player with a lot of upside. I expect Ricky to enjoy a long and successful career here in Minnesota."
Rubio, who first turned professional at age 14 and was in the Olympics in 2008, averaged 4.8 points and 4.1 assists per game this season for Barcelona, which claimed the Spanish league title.
After the 2009 draft, Minnesota had an agreement in place with Rubio's former team, DKV Joventut, on a buyout package that would have enabled him to play for the Wolves. However, Rubio decided to stay home and play for Barcelona, which also made an offer to buy out the Joventut contract.
In his two seasons with Barcelona, Rubio averaged 5.9 points and 4.4 assists in 65 games. He also averaged 7.7 points and 3.6 assists in four seasons with DKV Joventut.
The Wolves were just 17-65 last season and will have the second pick in the NBA Draft later this month.