Praise for Rubio, McHale interested in Bulls job and more
It's a good bet the Minnesota Timberwolves will try to sign Rudy Gay from Memphis if he becomes a free agent this summer, but the Grizzlies are expected to re-sign the 6-foot-8, 230-pound forward. And if Gay were to leave, it's virtually certain it would be for the hometown Washington Wizards, who have $22.5 million in salary cap space.
But Kahn said Sunday that the plan to bring Rubio over after next season is still in place, and that the Wolves anticipate Rubio to be the beneficiary of two years of seasoning, two years of growing physically and two years of working on his jumper.
So while coach Kurt Rambis and the Wolves took some serious lumps this season, Rubio has been playing with veterans like Navarro, former NBA camper Pete Mickeal and Fran Vasquez, the Magic's 2005 first-round pick who has yet to come over to the States. Barcelona rolled through the European season, winning the ACB Super Cup in October and tore through the ACB League with a 30-3 first-place mark. In Friday's semifinal win over CSKA Moscow -- Mikhail Prokhorov's soon-to-be former team -- Rubio had 10 points and eight assists in 32 minutes.
"He makes plays one can't see," gushed a veteran NBA personnel man who was in attendance this weekend. "He knows how to play the point."
The point is, though, that while we haven't talked much about Ricky Rubio lately, he's holding ground -- even gaining it -- despite the overall success of his cohorts.
Rubio made the right call.
He will gain more leading a team in Europe's top league than he would losing 50 games with the Timberwolves. Rubio needed work on his shooting mechanics -- European teams practice much more than NBA teams, the quality coaches at Barcelona have spent far more time revamping his shot than Kurt Rambis and team could have.
Popular opinion is that the Wolves, who have a solid young PG in Jonny Flynn, are looking to trade Rubio, perhaps to move up or get more picks in the 2010 Draft. It doesn’t seem anybody in Minnesota really expects last summer’s sensation will ever play for their team, but even if Rubio’s rights wind up in New York or another big market like his people wanted in the first place, he won’t be coming to the NBA until 2011-12.
From Nick Friedell/ESPN:
Kevin McHale said he has not been contacted by the Chicago Bulls about the team's head coaching vacancy, but he hopes the phone rings soon. The former Minnesota Timberwolves head coach said he would like to be considered as one of the possible replacements for the recently fired Vinny Del Negro.
"Of course," McHale told ESPNChicago.com on Monday night after working Game 4 of the Magic/Hawks series for TNT. "You go in there and talk to [Bulls general manager] Gar [Forman]. I know Gar and John Paxson real well. And hopefully if it's the right fit, it's the right fit. That's what you're looking for and that's what they're looking for. They're looking for the right fit.