Ricky Rubio news hasn't come very often as of late, but that could all change soon as the Minnesota Timberwolves higher-ups including general manager David Kahn, assistant general manager Tony Ronzone and international scout Pete Philo are all traveling to Spain to do some scouting next week and possibly meeting up with their top pick of the 2009 NBA Draft.
It seems that the main reason the Wolves contingent is heading to Spain is to visit draft prospects Nemanja Bjelica, Paolao Prestes and Henk Norel according to the Star Tribune's Jerry Zgoda, but meeting up with Rubio as he finishes up the Spanish League season seems to be quite high on their list of priorities.
Interestingly enough, the Wolves seem to have more hope than most think as the common thought process seems to indicate that Rubio would prefer to sign in the NBA before the new NBA Collective Bargaining Agreement changes things too much relating to rookie contracts.
Another reason that Rubio might want to come over now is due to the fact that his agents have now had time to secure enough money in American sponsorships to negate the buyout from his current team as Zgoda adeptly explained in Thursday's column:
His agents have been working here in the U.S. on endorsement deals that will pay the contract buyout -- and probably then some -- with his Spanish team that was negotiated to be a reasonable sum when he signed with Regal Barcelona in September 2009 after Kahn had tirelessly worked out a much, much bigger buyout deal with Rubio's DKV Joventut team.
By NBA rules, the Wolves can contribute only $500,000 to such a buyout.
If money's an issue in Rubio's decision, it probably will influence him to take a guaranteed NBA wage scale rather than wait and see the outcome of what could be long, nasty labor negotiations.
Either way, this situation is definitely worth watching with the NBA Draft coming up and point guard Kyrie Irving currently slated to be the top pick.