What in the world? Ricky Rubio wants to play for the Boston Celtics? (New York Times)
“The bottom line is, why would he want to play in Minnesota?” a senior member of Rubio’s camp said this month. “He’ll continue to say all the diplomatic things, and Minnesota needs to keep his value up for trade purposes, but the family’s preference is to be on the East Coast, specifically New York, Miami or Boston. He wouldn’t be troubled if he has to stay another year.”
The senior member of Rubio’s camp makes a valid point: why the hell would Rubio want to play in Minnesota? For the weather? I don’t think so. The talent? Umm, not exactly. The general manager? KAAAAHHHHNNNN!!!!
There’s nothing about Minnesota that’s even a little enticing. Unfortunately for Rubio, he doesn’t have much of a choice. The Timberwolves hold his exclusive draft rights, and, if Rubio wants to play in the NBA next year, it’ll have to be with Minnesota — or the team to which Minnesota trades him.
And Rubio’s trade stock isn’t exactly booming. After what was widely considered a letdown FIBA World Championships (by “widely considered a letdown,” I mean Rubio shot 28% from the field while starting for the underachieving Spain team), Rubio’s play has regressed even in his own league. He’s now shooting 32% from the field, or, for those of you who want a reference point, far worse than Allen Iverson ever dreamed of. For another reference point, Rubio shot more than 40% last season. He’s supposed to improve with age, but Rubio’s development is in reverse.
And oh yeah, Rubio playing in Boston doesn’t exactly make sense. Don’t the Celtics have some other point guard who’s pretty good?
Now, I have to admit, I’m still fascinated by Rubio’s game. That’s the only reason I even blogged this story when I still believe the percentage of seeing Rubio in Boston is zero. Rubio’s like Pistol Pete, if Pistol Pete had been reincarnated with a pure point guard’s mentality and a drunken sailor’s jump shot. I have a full-fledged man crush with the wiry Spaniard who whips no-look passes for pure enjoyment, and a couple months of 32% shooting won’t deter that. Rubio’s the only player in the world who I could picture matching Blake Griffin highlight for highlight. I’m not even kidding.
That said, I bet the T-Wolves are happy they spent the 5th pick on someone who may never play for their franchise and no longer holds impressive trade value. I mean, it’s not like Darren Collison, Brandon Jennings, Steph Curry and Rodrigue Beaubois were all still on the board or anything. Wait…