ricky-rubio
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Wednesday , Dec , 29 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Timberwolves looking to trade Jonny Flynn?

The Timberwolves grow more confident by the day that Rubio will finally come over from Europe to join their squad next season, effectively making Flynn expendable. Recognizing this, no fewer than seven teams have reached out to the Timberwolves with interest in Flynn, with interest ranging from teams looking for a solid back-up to teams looking for a long-term starter.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The Minnesota Timberwolves may soon have an embarrassment of riches at point guard.

In a few months, the Messiah known as Ricky Rubio may finally cross the Atlantic Ocean and lead the lowly Timberwolves out of the Western Conferece cellar. Some believe this makes 2009 lottery pick Jonny Flynn expendable.

Of course, the Timberwolves are acting like Rubio’s migration is a sure-thing, and according to reports are listening to offers for Flynn.

Two words: slow down.

Rubio is unpredictable. He could stay in Europe in hopes of forcing a trade to a larger market. And if he does come to The Frozen Tundra of ‘Sota’ next fall, he’ll need time and help.

Holding onto Flynn, who had a great rookie season, makes sense. He would provide insurance if Rubio gets cold feet and decides not to sign with the Timberwolves. Flynn and Rubio could also form a nice 1-2 punch at point guard and play extended minutes together in the backcourt.

In short, there’s no rush to move Flynn. The Timberwolves should enjoy this rare embarrassment of riches instead of spoling it.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
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Sunday , Dec , 19 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Michael Beasley on Minnesota: ‘I would love to stay here long-term’

Michael Beasley, dealt from Miami to Minnesota last summer, loves his new surroundings. So much that the forward would like to sign a long-term contract extension with the Timberwolves. "I would love to stay here long-term,'' Beasley said in an interview with FanHouse before Saturday's game at Denver. "Maybe we'll talk about it when the season's over.''
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: This is breaking news. A pretty decent NBA player has announced publicly his desire to re-sign with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

Michael Beasley, a talented scorer and former second overall pick, wants to make The Frozen Tundra of ‘Sota home.

Good for Beasley; good for the Wolves.
 
Both player and team have had issues. In Miami, Beasley struggled with marijuana, the distractions of South Beach, and depression.
 
Since trading Kevin Garnett, Minnesota has regressed into an oddball, outpost for NBA players. Think Siberia, with friendly people.

Things could be changing.

While 6-22, Minnesota has a pair of young forwards in Beasley and Kevin Love. There are also point guards Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio.

For the first time in a long time, the Wolves have a foundation. And the future isn't so bleak.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

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Saturday , Nov , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Wolves won’t trade Rubio to Knicks?

But multiple sources within the Timberwolves organization guaranteed Rubio will start his career with the club, not as a Knick. Minnesota brass is convinced that Rubio will play for the club next season, when his Barcelona buyout falls to $1 million. 

Link  
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: When it rains, it pours.

For the past decade, a torrential storm has plagued the New York Knicks and Madison Square Gardens. The showers don’t seem to be easing.

Instead of signing a game-changing free agent last summer, the classic franchise overpaid the very good but hardly great Amar’e Stoudemire. The results have been mixed.

So far, it seems the Knicks lack the assets to acquire Carmelo Anthony from the Denver Nuggets, while Chris Paul has apparently reconciled with the New Orleans Hornets.

Scratch Anthony and Paul off The Big Apple saviour list.

Now this: Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio will reportedly start his career with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Not the Knicks.

Knick-nation had prophesized that Rubio would find his way east and run the point in Mike D’Antoni’s ‘Seven Seconds Or Less’ system.

No dice. Word is the Wolves won’t trade the shaggy-haired table-setter and want him managing their offensive sets for October 2011.

Executive Donnie Walsh and Coach D’Antoni have no choice but to move to the next option. All the while, the rain keeps falling over MSG and the Knicks.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 
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Monday , Oct , 18 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Timberwolves to make ‘serious run’ at Carmelo Anthony?

If Carmelo Anthony is still with the Denver Nuggets at trade time in February, look for the Timberwolves to make a serious run at him.
 
 
HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Not happening.

Under no circumstances will Carmelo Anthony suit up, play for or sign an extension with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

So the T-Wolves can try all they like to facilitate a trade, but ‘Melo will never, ever call the Frozen Tundra of Sota home.    

Here’s why:

1) Anthony wants to win. Like now. Minnesota –even if Ricky Rubio crosses the Atlantic and Kevin Love continues developing –are years away from contending for a playoff spot.

2) While Minnesota is a nice place with good people, players see it as a foreign outpost with cold weather. Anthony and wife LaLa Vasquez want a sexy, major market, not the league’s Siberia.

3) Call it The Kevin Garnett Effect. For years, Garnett toiled admirably and the Wolves lost, only once making the Western Conference Finals. Anthony doesn’t want to waste his prime seasons –like The Big Ticket.

Minnesota reporters need to stop dreaming and deal with reality -Anthony will never play for the lowly Wolves.
 
-Oly Sandor.
 
Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.
 
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Monday , Oct , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kobe Bryant on Ricky Rubio: he’s NBA ready

Ricky Rubio has yet to make his NBA debut, but that may not mean he isn't ready, at least according to Kobe Bryant. Bryant isn't among Rubio's critics. "This my third time playing against him, and he is definitely ready to play in the NBA," the Lakers' star said. "The kid can play. I felt like in the Olympics he played very well and showed a lot of poise and he reads a lot of things that average players don't."

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Can you say co-sign?

Kobe Bryant, the game’s greatest player, is confirming what we know. Euro Ricky Rubio is NBA ready.

Right now, the point guard could cross the Atlantic and run an NBA team. His game and star power would make him an instant sensation on-and-off court.

What’s the delay? Why is the Spaniard plying his trade with FC Barcelona?

Well, Rubio has no interest in suiting up for the Minnesota Timberwolves, the club that drafted him fifth overall in 2009.

Minnesota is cold, a small market, and has a permanent seat at the draft lottery in Secaucus, New Jersey.

So Rubio may be ready for the NBA. Unless the Wolves trade his rights, he’s staying in Europe.
 
-Oly Sandor.

--Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below. 
      
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Thursday , Sep , 16 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Minnesota seeking ‘singular move’ for version of Kobe, D-Wade, or Durant

The reality is, we are still lacking a dominant player – our version of Kobe Bryant, Dwyane Wade or Kevin Durant – and that will remain an item at the top of the To-Do list.

It’s possible this player could emerge from within the roster.  Nearly every player on our team has his best days ahead of him.   Some could make an All-Star team during their careers and one has already become an impact player on the USA Men’s National Team in this year’s FIBA World Championships.  We also have eight players currently on the roster who were selected in the top-seven of their respective drafts:  Michael Beasley, Kevin Love, Wes Johnson, Jonny Flynn, Darko Milicic, Corey Brewer, Martell Webster and Ricky Rubio.

The average age of those eight players is 22. However, if one of our players fails to emerge, we will be prepared to find more talent for our team – and we will seek a singular move rather than a series of moves, as we did these last 14 months.

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HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: The ‘singular move’ Minnesota Timberwolves executive David Kahn mentions isn’t happening in today’s NBA.

Superstars want to play with other superstars. For instance: there’s The Three Kings in Miami; The Big Four suit up for the Boston Celtics; and Kobe Bryant and his star studded supporting cast have won consecutive championships with  the Los Angeles Lakers.

No elite player worthy of Kahn’s ‘singular move’ tag will sign with the Timberwolves, especially as a solo act. Their young supporting cast is irrelevant; superstars still remember Kevin Garnett wasting away in The Frozen Tundra of ‘Sota.

Kahn quickest way to attaining a superstar is through the draft. In fact, he may already have a potential superstar in Ricky Rubio, the club’s 2009 lottery pick.

Of course, it’s not known if Rubio is merely refining his game in Europe or refusing to play for the lowly T-Wolves.

Either way, Kahn’s job is bigger than a ‘singular move’.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

Minnesota Timberwolves remain as a Toyota.
Saturday , Sep , 04 , 2010 J.N.

Minnesota Timberwolves remain as a Toyota.

The Wolves didn’t do much in the 2009-2010 season. They kept losing and lost Al Jefferson, too. Point guard Jonny Flynn had the chance to solidify the position for years to come, but made the fan base look forward to Ricky Rubio’s arrival. He had a solid rookie season with 13.5 points and 4.4 assists. That’s fine and dandy although the Wolves are looking for a star. They are not looking for fine and dandy.

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Tuesday , Aug , 24 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Kevin Love on Minnesota T-Wolves: ‘I hope we have a plan’

I hope we have a plan. I don't know what it is at this point. We obviously made a lot of moves, but I'm out there playing and thinking between the lines, not making decisions. I'm just trying to hope for the best and that we keep getting better as a team.

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: He hasn't earned the right. Not yet anyway.

As a third-year post known for more for twittering than on-court play, Kevin Love doesn't have the superstar pedigree to bash Minnesota GM David Kahn.

In July, Kahn dealt Al Jefferson to the Utah Jazz, so Love could play the four-spot, his natural position. And Love repays the organization's loyalty with criticism that appears on CNNSI's website.

Of course, Love is also missing the point: he is The Plan. He's the leader by default. And this is his team.

His comments will set a negative tone for current and potential teammates. After all, what will the mood be at training camp? And Spanish sensation Ricky Rubio will be even more opposed to crossing the Atlantic and joining the Wolves.

Ironically, Love wants to ink an extension with Minnesota and be part of a contending team. Perhaps he should choose his words more carefully.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.   

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Wednesday , Jul , 21 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Ramon Sessions: ‘I’m a Timberwolf right now, and I expect to be one’

Sessions, rumored to be on the trading block, said, "I'm a Timberwolf right now, and I expect to be one next season."

Link

HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Credit Ramon Sessions for taking the high road.

One summer after signing a multi-year contract with the Minnesota Timberwolves, he no longer fits the club's plans.

Jonny Flynn will start at point guard. Newly signed Luke Ridnour will be the back-up. And next summer Ricky Rubio could swap the European professional circuit for the Frozen Tundra of 'Sota.

So Sessions will be traded, but still said the right things at the Timberwolves' basketball camp. He could have taken a different approach like a certain retired sharpshooter turned analyst who shall remain nameless (click video below). 

('Don't call me 3D no more.')

Expect Sessions to soon find a new home as a reserve combo guard. The former D-league star could still develop into a Vinnie Johnson, instant offense type off the bench.

And his positive, professional attitude can only help.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below.

   

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Wednesday , Jul , 14 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Wolves signing Ridnour, sending Sessions to Bobcats?

The Timberwolves are close to signing free-agent point guard Luke Ridnour to a multiyear deal, according to league sources. The Minneapolis Star Tribune is reporting that the contract is worth $16 million over four years.

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HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Luke Ridnour is in. Ramon Sessions is apparently out.

Reports indicate the Minnesota Timberwolves are on the verge of signing Ridnour, a veteran table-setter who'd make an ideal mentor and back-up to Jonny Flynn and Ricky Rubio -provided the Spaniard ever arrives in The Frozen Tundra of 'Sota.

Landing Ridnour is a solid move; however, it's surprising how quickly the Wolves soured on Sessions. One year ago he also signed a four-year, $16 million deal to serve as the club's reserve point guard.

Something changed last season. And now something else has to change before next season.

Expect Minnesota to shop Sessions, and the Charlotte Bobcats - who wisely backed out of a deal with the Toronto Raptors for Jose Calderon - will have interest.

After all, Charlotte executive Michael Jordan has a hole to fill at the one-spot after Ray Felton signed with the New York Knicks.

So the Ridnour signing won't be the last of the Wolves' busy off-season.

--Oly Sandor.

Got thoughts? Well, get at HoopsVibe News in the comment box below!

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Saturday , Jun , 26 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Rumor: Minnesota keeping Darko Milicic, trading Al Jefferson?

David Kahn admitted on Friday that he is exploring a trade of Al Jefferson and the likelihood of a trade increases if the Wolves re-sign Darko Milicic.

"It's the right time finally for us to explore this," Kahn said of a possible Jefferson trade. "I've met with Al and discussed this. If Darko comes back, there could be a need to create some playing time. We really need to get our front line settled."

Link
 
HoopsVibe's Very Quick Call: Minnesota wants to trade Al Jefferson, the power-forward who was supposed to be their lead wolf.
 
Remember, Jefferson was acquired from the Boston Celtics, as the key to the blockbuster trade involving Kevin Garnett. He initially responded to his new surroundings by posting 20-10 numbers in his first season with the Timberwolves.
 
Their relationship has suddenly soured, though.
 
Minnesota's new head suit, David Kahn, sees Jefferson as a guy who posts good statistics on bad teams. For instance, talented players should always be able to play together, but Jefferson struggles next to youngster Kevin Love.
 
And Jefferson seems to have lost faith in Minnesota. He probably sees the franchise as incapable of ever becoming more than the NBA's Siberia. For instance, lottery pick Ricky Rubio has stayed in Europe rather than joining the Timberwolves.
 
Of course, Jefferson's DUI charge in late February didn't help.
 
Unfortunately, club and player should invest in therapy or counselling because they're likely stuck together. Jefferson's contract - three years and $42 million - will be tough to move in this economy.
 
Re-signing Milicic, also known as The Human Victory Cigar, is an interesting development. Most thought the left-handed Serbian would catch the first flight back to Europe and sign in the ABC League when the NBA season ended.
 
Clearly, the Wolves believe Milicic's career can be salvaged. And he has a most intoxicating skill-set for a seven-footer. Hopefully, the former second overall pick gets a legitimate opportunity if he stays in the NBA.
 
However, Milicic might not stick in Minnesota because of Jefferson's big ticket contract can't be dealt.
 
Got thoughts?
 
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Sunday , Jun , 06 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Ricky Rubio has leverage over Minnesota Timberwolves

Ricky Rubio is promising NBA fans they'll get to see his razzle-dazzle, but not before the 2011-12 season -- and not necessarily with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

In an interview with the Associated Press, the highly rated prospect said he won't leave Spanish club Barcelona before his NBA opt-out clause comes up after next season. The Timberwolves remain his team of choice, as long as they make improvements following a season where they finished 15-67, the second-worst record in the league.

Link

HoopsVibe’s Very Quick Call: Something must have been lost in the translation from Spanish to English –like showing modesty or being humble.

This is what the Minnesota Timberwolves must be hoping for, after their Spanish point guard prospect, Ricky Rubio, recently held court with the media in Europe.

In a recent interview, the Barcelona club star spouted off: he basically told the Timberwolves to improve or lose his services; described himself as a ‘colourful, attractive, spectacular basketball player’; and compared himself to being ‘in the mold of Magic Johnson and Steve Nash’. 

Under normal circumstances, a team should immediately consider cutting ties with such a prospect.

However, these aren’t normal circumstances in Minnesota. Even with two young point guards and other developing pieces, the club only won 15 games last year and can’t sell tickets, luxury suites, or merchandise.

Frankly, the Timberwolves –since trading Kevin Garnett – have become irrelevant.

Rubio would change this. Instantly. His razzle-dazzle game will put butts in seats. And suddenly, the Timberwolves will have an identity, presence, and following at home and throughout the world.

All of this equals one thing: money.

Rubio, of course, knows this. He also knows he has leverage and will hold it over Minnesota executive David Kahn and the entire franchise.

If the Timberwolves don’t give him everything he wants, he plays in Europe and forces a trade. And even if the Timberwolves do give him everything he wants, the 19 year old could still force a trade to a larger market with a more competitive team.

With such pull, Rubio has little need for modesty or humility.

Got thoughts on Rubio? Got thoughts on the state of the Wolves? 

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Sunday , May , 30 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Will Minnesota trade Flynn, Jefferson, Love, or Rubio to move up in draft?

Minnesota GM David Kahn is actively trying to trade up from the fourth pick to the second pick for a chance to take Ohio State's Evan Turner. Also, don't be surprised if either Al Jefferson or Kevin Love is traded by draft night.

Link

HoopsVibe's Quick Call: Yes, change is coming to 'The Frozen Tundra of Sota'.

Simply put, Jefferson and Love, while both talented, have too similar a style. Each is a natural four-man and can't effectively play a different position. One factor worth considering: Jefferson may be hard to trade because he has three years and $42 million remaining on his big ticket contract.

So Kahn has too many power forwards. He also has too many point guards, with Jonny Flynn and Spanish prospect Ricky Rubio plying his craft in Europe.

As Tillery mentions, the Timberwolves are considering moving up in the draft and may use the above assets as part of a package to swap spots or rebuild.

What changes do you see coming to Minnesota? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.   

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Tuesday , May , 11 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

Ricky Rubio: I’m Glad I Stayed in Barcelona

Though Rubio was unwilling to move immediately to the NBA after he was drafted fifth last summer, he could yet head to the United States if he exercises his opt-out clause 12 months from now. However, he remains convinced that he made the right choice to stay at home.

"To be in the Final Four of the Euroleague, this is where I want to be," said the recipient of the league's Rising Star Award, given annually to the best young player. "I've worked hard to make it to this goal. And this shows me that I chose the best option. I am so happy on this team. These players help me improve every day and so do the assistant coaches and other staff."

The Wolves, should they decide to retain Rubio's rights rather than package him to move up in June's draft, hold an appreciating asset. Team sources confirm that since he helped the Spanish national team to last year's European championship, he has spent extended time in the weight room for the first time in his career. Meanwhile, Barcelona's coaches have put in overtime to work on his shooting mechanics. 

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[vid] Ricky Rubio’s Top Five Plays with FC Barcelona
Tuesday , Apr , 13 , 2010 Hoopsvibe

[vid] Ricky Rubio’s Top Five Plays with FC Barcelona

Is anybody else massively underwhelmed by videos like this one?  I know that highlights aren't the best indicator of a player's talent, but I could film for an hour at the Y and find five plays more impressive than these.  Ricky Rubio certainly has above-average passing abilities, but his minimal athleticism, shaky jumper and questionable defensive judgement don't bode well for the teen prospect set to suit up for Minnesota at some point in the next couple of seasons.

 

I heard the "Spanish Pistol Pete" moniker almost as soon as I heard the kid's name, but I've taken to calling him "Sixty-Percent Steve".  That is, he looks like Steve Nash playing at three-fifths capacity, even in the highlights.  Check out the clip below and judge for yourself, then leave a comment to let us know your thoughts.

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