Ricky Rubio Signs 4-year Contract Extension With Wolves
With Friday’s deadline fast approaching, Ricky Rubio and the Minnesota Timberwolves worked overtime to make sure the 24-year old point guard would stay in Minnesota for at least four more seasons.
A Buzzer Beater
Both parties burned up the phone lines late Friday night and with three hours left before Rubio would have become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, the team announced that they had agreed to a 4-year contract extension worth $55M.
With the deal, Rubio becomes the 9th member of the 2011 NBA Draft class to get an extension. Before the season started, Kryrie Irving, Kenneth Faried, Kemba Walker, Nikola Vucevic and the Morris twins had already re-signed with their mother squads. Before Friday’s midnight deadline, Klay Thompson, Alec Burks and Rubio joined the group in buzzer beating fashion.
New Leader of The Pack
The huge contract affirms Minnesota’s intention to make Spanish sensation their new cornerstone after the team lost superstar Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers in the offseason. The Wolves are banking on Rubio to become the new leader of the pack along with 2014 top draft pick Andrew Wiggins as they move on from the Kevin Love era in Minnesota.
The Wolves drafted Rubio 5th overall in 2009 but he came to the NBA only during the 2011-12 season. Rubio tore his left ACL in March 2012, delaying the Wolves big plans for the dynamic playmaker. But tow years after the injury, Rubio looks fully recovered and better than ever.
Last season, Rubio joined Magic Johnson, Isiah Thomas and Tim Hardaway as the only four players in NBA history to average 7 assists and 2 steals in their first three NBA seasons. Rubio was 4th in the league in assists last season with 8.6 assists per game and 2nd in steals with 2.32 thefts per contest. Rubio also matched a career best 4.2 rebounds per game although he averaged in single digit scoring for the first time in three seasons with 9.5 points per game.
An Elite Point Guard
With the added pressure from his $55M contract, Rubio looks like he is ready to assume his role as the new alpha male in a young Minnesota team.
With supreme playmaking skills and rich international basketball experience, Rubio has become one of the NBA’s elite point guards. He dominates the game with his unique creativity to make plays on offense and keen ball-reading skill that lead to steals on defense. The catch with Rubio though is that he has to improve his scoring. He is just a career 10.1 points per game scorer and a 36.8% career FG shooter. Other than that, he is ready to take the pack with him to the future.
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