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Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Ricky Rubio Wants Out

Posted by Kevin Arnovitz

From the Associated Press:

Ricky Rubio plans to part ways with Spanish basketball club DKV Joventut even if the Minnesota Timberwolves cannot reach a deal to bring their first-round draft pick to the NBA.

Timberwolves president David Kahn was in Spain this week to try and help the fifth overall pick negotiate a buyout of his contract with Joventut. Rubio is at odds with his boyhood club over a buyout clause that could cost the 18-year-old point guard as much as $6.6 million. The NBA's collective bargaining rules limit the Timberwolves' contribution to $500,000.

Regardless of whether Rubio makes the trip across the Atlantic next season, he won't be playing at Joventut.

"I want to continue with the club but, after everything that's happened, I don't think they're too comfortable having me in their squad," Rubio said Wednesday. "I want to play in a winning team, on a team that can achieve many things."

... Rubio has two years remaining on his deal with Joventut. The enormity of the buyout has a player who made less than $100,000 last season thinking twice about coming to the NBA right away.

That's what prompted Kahn to hop a plane to Spain on Monday. He met with Joventut officials to see if he could help resolve the issue, but declined to comment -- both on the news that Rubio will leave Joventut and the trip in general -- when reached by The Associated Press on Wednesday.

Assuming that Rubio walks, there are a variety of possible outcomes:

*To clarify, this is the "nuclear option," which would require that Rubio buy out his contract with Joventut, and not play FIBA-sanctioned basketball -- something that should've been stated more clearly above.