Sunday , Feb , 27 , 2011 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Love shows Ricky Rubio ‘Love’

We’re looking forward to (Ricky Rubio) coming. I’m sure he will have a big impact on the team and the league. I think he will be a key part for the future of the franchise.


HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: You have to ‘love’ his optimism. Literally.

Yesterday, All-Star four-man Kevin Love told the international press he can’t wait for Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio to join the Minnesota Timberwolves next season.

To be fair, what else could Love say? However, several issues must be resolved before Rubio can cross the Atlantic and suit up in The Frozen Tundra of Sota.

A lockout is looming. Rubio may fulfill the terms of his contract with his Spanish club instead of paying the buyout and waiting several months for the owners and Players’ Union to resolve their differences.

The NBA’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement will reduce rookie contracts, meaning Rubio’s first deal will be for far less than what he would earn in Europe.

After all, NBA players pay income tax. Meanwhile, European club players are paid in after tax dollars and typically receive perks like a free apartment/compound and courtesy car.

Rubio may still come to the NBA, but only if he gets to play in a market where he can maximize sponsorships and endorsements. Think New York or New Jersey (soon to be Brooklyn). Not Minnesota.

Finally, the Wolves aren’t very good. Sure, they have Michael Beasley and Love but neither has committed for the long-term. Even if these two forwards stayed, could a trio of Beasley, Love, and Rubio compete in the Western Conference?

Hopefully, things work out. The NBA is the best league in the world; Rubio is Europe’s top prospect; Timberwolves fans deserve some good fortune.

  Despite Love’s optimism, Rubio’s journey to Minnesota, and the NBA, is far from a sure thing.

–Oly Sandor.

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