That loud collective sigh of relief you heard last month was from Minnesota Timberwolves fans when 2009 draft pick Ricky Rubio finally decided to come to the NBA and join Minnesota.
The young, flashy point guard has drawn comparisons to NBA legend Pete Maravich mainly because of his passing ability and court vision.
And although Ricky’s game may have cooled off since being drafted two years ago, Minnesota’s Kevin Love was able to experience first-hand Rubio’s passing ability and work ethic when he recently got some run on the court with the Spanish guard:
He wants to work, he wants to stay in the gym and some of his passes are just phenomenal. He sees the floor at 20 years old better than most of the guys I’ve seen. I’ve been around Derrick Rose, Russell Westbrook, that caliber of players growing up. It’s a fun thing to watch when you’re out there.
It’s crazy the stuff that he sees. He will go up and find you, no matter where you are on the court. You might be wide open and think he doesn’t see you, but he finds you.
Rubio’s pass-first mentality will be exactly what the Timberwolves need but taking a look at Minnesota’s roster which includes, Love, Wes Johnson, Anthony Randolph, and Derrick Williams, one can’t help but notice this is a very young team.
Rubio will carry the heavy burden of directing these young players on the court which is something he should be able to handle.
Remember Rubio has been playing professional ball in Spain for quite sometime and had to be the floor-leader for players much older than him, such as Spain’s Pau Gasol, and direct the Spanish national team in high-pressure games such as the 2008 Olympic games.
However, there is the matter of his dip in assist numbers. For Regal Barcelona, he averaged 3.5 assists (71 total) in 20 games last season as opposed to his 4.0 assists (90 total) per game in 22 games in the 2009-2010 season with Regal.
Granted he was dealing with a foot injury which more than likely affected him last season but for Minnesota, you hope the injury is 100% healed and he is ready to go.
If Love loves what he experienced first-hand playing with Rubio then Minnesota’s future is bright. A rising star with Love, a solid draft pick with Williams, and with Rubio in the fold, Minnesota might be primed to become a new NBA power.