Ricky Rubio was supposed to become the next Minnesota Timberwolves point guard sooner rather than later, but his Spanish team advancing to the second round of the ACB Playoffs could complicate that following Saturday's 84-52 victory over Unicaja Malaga.
In the game, Rubio scored three points, dished seven assists and grabbed four rebounds while playing 19 minutes off the bench, but that's not really the topic of discussion with this story.
Rubio, property of the Wolves via the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft, had what seemed to be a deadline to sign with Minnesotat by the end of May according to Wolves president of basketball operations David Kahn (as told to the Star Tribune's Jerry Zgoda here), but that seems like a less likely option considering the team will now advance further into the Spanish league's playoffs.
As SB Nation's Timberwolves blog Canis Hoopus pointed out on Saturday, the ACB's semifinal is scheduled to run into June, meaning that Rubio would also still be under contract in Spain past the May 31 deadline. With that, there's a distinct possibility -- though it's currently unknown for all intents and purposes considering the Wolves contract would be for next season -- that would make it illegal to sign with Minnesota considering FIBA guidelines entail players can't be under contract with multiple teams at the same time.
As Canis Hoopus points out, this puts the Wolves -- and therefore Kahn -- in a bit of a pickle:
The likelihood of David Kahn lasting the calendar year with Rubio still Wolves property but still in Europe are somewhere in the 0.1-5% range. Again, Kahn has 10 days to either having his Rubio bluff be wrong, him being wildly incorrect about a CBA-related provision (which would probably be the most embarrassing outcome of all, considering this sort of expertise was probably his strongest credential for the job), Rubio signing; or, what I think is increasingly likely, that Rubio is traded in the next 10 days for someone who will be in a Wolves uni come hell or high water at the start of the 11/12 season.
Either the May 31 date originally given by Kahn doesn't actually matter, the current CBA is unclear or the Wolves are coming dangerously close to missing out on Rubio following Saturday's playoff victory.