MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Now that his Spanish league season is over, Ricky Rubio can let everyone know where he’s headed next.
Rubio wrote on Twitter on Thursday that he will hold a news conference in Barcelona on Friday to discuss his basketball future. The Associated Press was one of several outlets to report earlier this month that Rubio will leave Regal Barcelona to join the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA.
“Goodnight everyone,” Rubio tweeted in Spanish. “Tomorrow morning I give a press conference to say my future. A hug and see you tomorrow.”
Rubio and the Timberwolves have declined to comment publicly on the 20-year-old point guard’s status while he was still playing for Regal Barcelona in the ACB playoffs. He helped Barcelona to a sweep of Bilbao in the ACB finals this week, clearing the way for him to make the announcement.
A person with knowledge of the deal told The AP on June 1 that Rubio signed a contract on May 31 to ensure that he was paid under the existing NBA rookie wage scale. He is expected to be introduced in Minnesota early next week.
The Timberwolves, and their curious fans, have been waiting two years for Rubio’s arrival. The floppy-haired, slick-passing guard was team president David Kahn’s first draft pick — fifth overall in 2009.
A buyout of more than $6 million on his Spanish contract was too big for Rubio to pay himself — the Timberwolves can only offer $500,000 under league rules — so he stayed in his native Spain until the number reached a more manageable amount.
It’s about $1.4 million now, and the Timberwolves have been working on local endorsement packages to help ease the burden on Rubio.
Now he’ll be coming to a team fresh off the worst record in the league — 17-65 — and with a dire need for a capable point guard.
The Timberwolves also have the second pick in next week’s draft, which should allow them to add another skilled player to help make Rubio’s transition easier.
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