This is one of those stories that shows how poorly the Minnesota Timberwolves organization is run. Their First round draft pick, Ricky Rubio, has decided to stay in Spain for at least two more years with a Barcelona. Barcelona bought out Rubio’s contract for 5 million dollars and that will keep Rubio out of the NBA until at least 2011.
As for the Timberwolves who drafted a player who had no desire to play for them and that isn’t even the mistake. If a player comes out and says he does not want to play for a certain team, as Rubio did, then the team should draft him anyways. After drafting the team should work out a trade with another club to insure they get fair value in return.
The problem here is NBA rules got in the way, and the Timberwolves organization should have been aware of these rules and their limitations. Under NBA rules a NBA team may only pay 500,000 dollars to another team for a contract buyout. Since Barcelona had no limitations they were easily able to out bid the Wolves, and because of this rule the T-Wolves had virtually no chance to deal Rubio to another NBA team.
Why the NBA would limit something like that is beyond me, but it probably limits the amount of money bigger market teams could use to buy out European players. For the Timberwolves this is a bad loss, losing a top five draft pick is never a good thing especially for a team that needs all the help it can get.