Tuesday , Sep , 01 , 2009 C.Y. Ellis

Ricky Rubio Will Stay in Spain for Two More Years

Rubio – the fifth pick in the 2009 NBA draft – has agreed to a six-year contract with Regal FC Barcelona that doesn’t allow for an escape to the NBA until 2011. Kahn made several trips to Spain to try to get Rubio’s previous team, DKV Joventut, to lower his $8 million buyout price, but couldn’t get it done.

The Timberwolves will retain Rubio’s rights, and will now hand the team’s point guard duties to rookie Jonny Flynn(notes). Kahn drafted Flynn one pick behind Rubio.

Rubio, 18, apparently won’t play for the T’wolves until the 2011-12 season, and that’s devastating for the franchise’s new regime, which hoped to tout Rubio as one of its fresh-faced stars. Minnesota was able to legally pay only $500,000 toward the buyout, and the relative constraints of the Twin Cities’ market made the accumulation of endorsement deals difficult to close the gap on the buyout figure. Rubio would’ve made nearly $3.3 million in the NBA this season as the fifth pick in the draft.