Ricky Rubio might be playing his final campaign with the Minnesota Timberwolves, despite the fact that his contract doesn’t expire until the 2019.
When Rubio got drafted by the Minnesota Timberwolves as the Overall No. 5 pick at the 2009. NBA draft, his only goal was to help the Timberwolves become a consistent play-off participant. However, despite the fact that the Minnesota Timberwolves have had some very talented roster ever since, they have not been able to reach the play-offs and Rubio has yet to play his first play-off game.
The last time Minnesota played in the play-off was back in the season 2003-2004, when they reached the Conference Finals, before losing to the Los Angeles Lakers with an overall score of 4-2.
Going into the 2016-2017 season, Ricky Rubio has indicated several times that the is reaching the point that will decided his future with the Timberwolves. Namely, he believes that the upcoming season is decisive and that he feels that now, more than ever, the Timberwolves have the chance to make the play-offs. If not, he believes that for him personally, and his NBA career, it is the best solution to sign with a team that can not only reach the Play-offs but also be a title contender.
However, the Timberwolves management expect a lot of big things from the upcoming season, especially now with the new coach Tom Thibodeau at the helm. It was Thibodeau who made a drastic impact on Derrick Roses career, when they were both with the Chicago Bulls. Thibodeaus strategy helped Rose win the MVP award that year, and this is exactly what the Timberwolves hope will happen in Ricky Rubio’s case. Well, they don’t necessarily expect Rubio to win the MVP award, but they most certainly expect that Rubio will perform much better under Tom Thibodeau.
One problem for Rubio, however, might be the fact that the point guard position is clogged with Kriss Dunn, Tyus Jones, John Lucas and Zach LaVine, which means that Rubio will have a tough competition to keep his 30+ minutes per game that he averaged last season. In addition, Rubio was averaging solid offensive numbers with 10.1 ppg , 8.7 apg and 2 spg. He has improved his field goal percentages over the past 2 season, but considering that he is due to make $13.4 million in the next season, Rubio will have to step it up big time to reach his goals and make the play-offs.
With Karl-Anthony Towns, Nemanja Bjelica, Andrew Wiggins, Zach LaVine, Gorgui Dieng, Jordan Hill and others, Ricky Rubio and the Minnesota Timberwolves seem to finally be ready to make the next step and be a true play-off contender. Tom Thiboudeau will have a young group of talented players at disposal, and if he manages to keep the competitive level high, there is no doubt that the young T-Wolves will provide some exciting basketball.
Words By: Admir Aljic