LD has learned that Rubio will not be playing with the team next year and that he's still working towards joining the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Rubio's desire to stay with Joventut is overstated as he is ready to make his NBA debut. However, he's currently staying open to the idea of returning in order to help decrease the buyout of his contract. Prior to June 30th Rubio's buyout was 4.75 million Euros ($6.6 million), but now it has jumped up to 5.75 million Euro ($8.08 million). The significant increase has made the buyout issue even more difficult, causing Rubio to say the following to a Spanish website.
"I have said they have rejected the offer of the buyout, so I spoke with my father to tell the team I am staying," said Rubio. "Basically there is nothing to say because I have more than two years on my contract"
Joventut has been in contact with some of the major clubs overseas regarding a possible sale of Rubio's contract. The team requested 3.5 million Euros from Real Madrid, while F.C. Barcelona came to the table with an offer of 2.3 million Euros that was viewed as an insult. Barcelona's offer eventually rose to 3 million but it was all for naught as Rubio is not interested in restructuring his contract in the case that his rights are sold.
Earlier in August Jordi Villicampa, the team president of Joventut, made it very clear that Rubio's time with the team is done.
"Both Ricky Rubio, their environment, and Joventut know that their stage of our club as a player is over. His remarks and attitude have hurt many sensitivities and our partners and supporters have betrayed their hopes of seeing it play again in Badalona wearing the green shirt."
Villicamp restated these sentiments even after Rubio's latest comments about wanting to stay with the team, saying that he feels it's a strategy to further lower his buyout.
Sources tell HOOPSWORLD that Rubio is looking to get the buyout down to $4 million, which he would sign off on today if it was on the table. For now though progress is being made as the buyout price is coming down, but both sides still remain a ways apart. While Rubio may be threatening to just show up to training camp for Joventut, he really wants to be in the NBA and if they can get the buyout amount close to the $4 million mark that's where he will be.
Ok, so he gets drafted by the Timberwolves at #5. He "doesn't want to go to Minnesota." He says he wants to go to the NBA, he's fine with Minnesota. DKV Joventut doesn't accept $3 million, they don't accept $4 million. Ricky's going to Real Madrid, he's not going to Real Madrid, he's going to Barcelona, he's not going to Barcelona, he's going to Minnesota, he's going to Joventut, he's not going to Joventut and he's still trying to come to MN. Can all of this just end?
Joventut Badalona just needs to lower the buyout to $4 million, that's plenty of money that they can use. Instead, they aren't doing so, and are just annoying everybody that's following the Rubio situation. Ricky will accept the $4 million buyout if they just lower it. They'll have to lower it sometime, why not now? If he's not going to play in Joventut and he wants to play in Minnesota, let him do so. If you get $4 million, you can do a lot with it, especially outside of the NBA.
I say Ricky Rubio will end up in Minnesota by opening night against New Jersey. What do you say?