When I saw Ricky Rubio was traded from the Timberwolves, to the Utah Jazz, for a No.1 draft pick in 2018, I felt that he deserved a tribute from me, regarding his history with the Timberwolves.
When I read the article in the paper, they stated that Ricky was 26, I thought it was a misprint. I figured he must be forty, based on how long he’s been in the news.
Remember when Rubio was drafted by the Timberwolves, back in 2009? He was the 5th pick of the first round. He was 18 at the time, and had been playing pro ball in Spain since he was 14. Unbelievable. He didn’t join the Timberwolves immediately following the draft, because of contractual obligations. Remember how he and Kahn, were blasted in the press at that time. No one, had heard of Rubio, and couldn’t believe he was taken ahead of Kyrie Irving, and then didn’t even play for the Wolves. There were many who thought he would never play for the Wolves.
In June of 2011, he finally signed with the Wolves. In the ensuing years, he played well in spite of several injuries, signing a 4 year contract extension, for a reported $ 56 Million, in 2014. He has had moments of brilliance, but not quite enough to get to the elite status; like Kyrie, Rose, Paul etc. This year he has really developed into that status, in spite of, or because of, all the trade rumors. His game is probably more focused than ever. In addition to his success dishing the ball around, his scoring has improved as well, especially from 3 point range.
I’ m happy for Rubio. Maybe he will have the opportunity to flourish with the Jazz, without all the trade talk every day. I hope he brings a touch of Maravich back to the Jazz.