Two months after being drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves with the fifth pick in the NBA Draft, Ricky Rubio finally knows where he is playing basketball next season.
The DKV Joventut guard will sign a six-year contract with FC Barcelona, according to Marca.com (via HoopsHype). According to the report, Rubio’s buyout to play for Regal Barcelona will be a record-breaking 3.7 million euros, the largest in European basketball history.
This doesn’t mean Rubio will spend his entire career in Europe. The report notes that his contract will also have an opt-out clause which would allow him to leave for the NBA. The buyout would decrease after every season and would reportedly be low enough for Rubio to enter the pros in the Summer of 2011.
Rubio garnered attention as one of the most highly touted players in this year’s draft. However the complications of his buyout and questions surrounding his NBA-readiness raised eyebrows around the league.
“I don’t see Rubio being that dynamic player now,” Celtics GM Danny Ainge said on WEEI’s Dennis & Callahan Show earlier this summer. “I think he’s got a lot of potential. He’s a very flashy player. He has a great mind for the game, and he’s a terrific passer. I don’t see him, just physically, and because he doesn’t shoot the ball very well, I don’t see him having an impact as a rookie. I think he’s more of a project ‘ a build-around franchise point guard ‘ so I would put him down there below those other guys.”
Rubio turns 19 in October.
UPDATE: The Timberwolves issued the following statement from General Manager David Kahn on their site: “Based on the information I have attained today, no team in any league has reached a deal with DKV Joventut concerning Ricky’s buyout, which must be accomplished before Ricky is released from his contract with DKV Joventut.”