Wolves land Rubio with expectations lowered

The Ricky Rubio saga is over.

Rubio and the Minnesota Timberwolves agreed to terms on a contract Wednesday night. Minnesota drafted Rubio with the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft, but a costly buyout – and according to some reports, a lack of desire to play in Minnesota – prevented Rubio from playing right away in the United States.

Ricky Rubio is finally taking his game to the United States. Associated Press photo

It’s been an interesting couple of years for Rubio, who might be one of the two most popular Wolves players despite not having played a game with the team.

But while the drama surrounding the negotiations has garnered plenty of headlines, his game overseas has raised some concerns.

When the Wolves drafted Rubio, all we had to judge him on were YouTube clips. And some of the passes on his YouTube highlight reel are pretty ridiculous.

But laying for Barcelona in the Euroleague, he’s averaging 6.5 points and 3.5 assists per game in just 23 minutes per game this season. Those numbers don’t exactly scream “Star!” when you look at them.

But the Wolves still have a couple reasons for optimism: 1) He’s still only 20 years old. 2) We’ve seen the same thing happen with Brandon Jennings, who opted to play overseas rather than go to college. He struggled, was drafted in the first round by the Milwaukee Bucks, and quickly became a star for them.

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