Rubio has "great frame of mind," Laimbeer meets with Sixers and more
Walsh, who flew to Paris on Thursday for the European Final Four, has his eyes not just on draft prospects but on 2010 free agents, forward Linas Kleiza and Josh Childress, the athletic wing formerly of the Hawks, as well as Minnesota point guard Ricky Rubio of Spain.
The talented Kleiza, 25, a restricted free agent for the Nuggets, and Childress both played this season for Olympiakos Athens, which reached the final yesterday. They will play Rubio’s FC Barcelona.
With point guard Jonny Flynn emerging as a force for the Timberwolves, the Spanish sensation is expected to be dealt by Walsh’s buddy, ’Wolves general manager David Kahn.
The Wolves, should they decide to retain Rubio's rights rather than package him to move up in June's draft, hold an appreciating asset. Team sources confirm that since he helped the Spanish national team to last year's European championship, he has spent extended time in the weight room for the first time in his career. Meanwhile, Barcelona's coaches have put in overtime to work on his shooting mechanics.
"He has had a great frame of mind," said FC Barcelona's coach, Xavi Pascual. "It's difficult to overcome the competition, but he's improved this year. And taking into consideration how young he still is, he's showed great maturity in the way he approaches these games."
In the Euroleague final, in front of 14,000 rabid fans at Bercy Arena in Paris, Rubio scored nine points, above his season average of 6.7. His minutes are still rationed, the occasional wayward pass a reminder that he is still a work in progress.
From Sid Hartman:
Timberwolves first round draft pick Ricky Rubio is a member of the FC Barcelona basketball team that won the Euroleague Championship on Sunday. Rubio had nine points, two assists, two steals, and one block in the 86-68 victory over Olympiakos of Greece. In the semifinals Friday, Rubio had 10 points, eight assists, two steals and hit a late three-pointer in a 64-54 victory over Moscow.
From the Associated Press:
Former Detroit player Bill Laimbeer and former Toronto coach Sam Mitchell met with the Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday in Dallas to discuss the team's vacant coaching job.
"We want to speak to as many qualified candidates as possible and certainly Bill Laimbeer's credentials as a player and success as a coach — including three championships in six seasons in the WNBA — speaks for itself," general manager Ed Stefanski said. "We want to thank Bill for meeting with us."