OK folks, 4 days to go until we make it to yet another bank of the Rubiocon.
What we know:
The current NBA/NBAPA CBA contains a provision that allows for the following:
We know for sure that this provision is legal, active, and what the Wolves are attempting to put into use in order to get Ricky Rubio over to the NBA during the 2011/12 season. There is absolutely no doubt that this is the part of the CBA that they are attempting to utilize.
We also know for sure that David Kahn has been working with Camp Rubio in order to secure an agreement from Barca (Rubio's ACB team) and Ricky himself in order to come over to the NBA in 2011/12.
We know that Rubio will be under contract with his ACB team until after May 31, 2011.
We know that Rubio's current ACB contract contains a buyout clause.
We know that Rubio would prefer to be on the current rookie-salary structure instead of gambling with a possibly lower number in the new CBA.
What we are fairly certain of:
There is a possibility that Rubio can sign a piece of paper with the Wolves prior to May 31 that would a) guarantee his play in the NBA during the 2011/12 season, b) allow him to complete the ACB season, and c) modify his buyout to allow for it to take place in a manner that would shift all liability over to the Timberwolves.
It is likely that the Wolves and Rubio can enter into an agreement prior to May 31 and not be subject to being under simultaneous contracts because of the language "following season" in the CBA.
That numerous big ticket season ticket holders have been told by David Kahn in no uncertain terms that Rubio will be here next season.
What we don't know:
If Rubio is getting cold feet.
If David Kahn has received confirmation from the NBA, ACB, and Barca that the pre-May 31 deal is legally permissable under all relevant governing rules.
If David Kahn has received confirmation from Rubio that he will sign the pre-May 31 deal.
What it all means:
Rubio most likely has to sign a contract with the Wolves prior to May 31 if he is going to play in the NBA during the 2011/12 season. If he does not sign in this time period, his buyout period will likely not allow him to sign in the NBA during the NBA off season due to the CBA uncertainty and the ACB season beginning in the Sept/Oct time frame. If he does sign, it will be David Kahn's biggest and smartest move of his tenure with the Wolves.
The primary reason for Rubio to sign before May 31 is to ensure that he is paid on the current salary structure. If he waits until after May 31, he is, one way or another, locked into the new CBA rookie scale contract. The other way he avoids this is if he waits yet another year in Europe and the 3-year clause allowing players to avoid the rookie scale if they wait 3 seasons is maintained in the new CBA and he signs a free agent deal (a'la Tiago Splitter) with the team. The only other way is if he buys out his Barca contract immediately following the ACB season (with no new paycheck) and then sits around until the CBA is resolved...when he will then sign a deal that will pay him less than what he would have been guaranteed had he signed prior to May 31.
If Rubio does not sign before the 31st, there is about a 99% chance he does not end up in the NBA this season. This is an important date. David Kahn has been telling everybody in sight that this is an important date. We have heard from numerous season ticket holders who are under the distinct impression that they have been told that Rubio will be here next season.
Will Rubio sign before the 31st? If he doesn't, what are the implications? I have mentioned several times that I do not think David Kahn can last the calendar year if Rubio isn't here at the opening tip of the 2011/12 season. Will Kahn trade him immediately if he cannot sign him? Will he be allowed to trade him? Should he be fired on the spot if Rubio does not sign?
David Kahn is all-in on Ricky Rubio. May 31 is the likely drop-dead date for Rubio being a Timberwolf in the 2011/12 season. No excuses. We know that this is a big date. There is no sugar coating him not being signed. It will be a complete and utter failure. There are no likely scenarios where Rubio will be in Minny black should he not sign by May 31. Does David Kahn deserve to keep his job for a single second should we know with about 95% certainty that Rubio will not be here at the start of 2011/12 season? Does he deserve to keep his job for a single second with coaching questions, a terrible draft record, and no Rubio?
May 31 is a big day.