If only Ricky Rubio could shoot the basketball.
The whole tone of the disaster that is the Minnesota Timberwolves organization, on hold because of star forward Kevin Love, would be completely different if Rubio’s offensive game wasn’t so limited. Nevertheless, Rubio plans to call Love as the other “star” player on the team in hopes he can convince the power forward to stay. As quoted in an interview with NBA.com:
I don’t want to convince him if he doesn’t want to stay. But I want him to stay and I’m going to tell him what I think, which is we’ve been improving every year and he’s a great player, he helps us a lot. I think we need to make the next step. … The media says it’s pretty settled, but I don’t know what he thinks. What I’ve been hearing is from the media, not from him, so I don’t trust that. It can be an opinion from you guys. I just really want to talk to him as a teammate.”
I will bet you $1.00 that I know what Love will say, as a teammate or otherwise.
The Timberwolves whiffed on Love’s contract, not giving him a max deal, because of their commitment to Rubio. At the time that philosophy behind that move wasn’t as faulty as it looks now.
Rubio is a player who can operate with the ball in his hands, disrupt, and create opportunities for his teammates. Love, on the other hand, is a dependent player. Sure, he is an elite dependent player who fills up the stat sheet, but he can’t do it by himself (no playoff appearances, remember?) and he plays no defense. Just one problem: Rubio can’t shoot.
If Rubio had turned into the kind of player the Timberwolves envisioned by now, this might not be the same conversation. Instead the Timberwolves find themselves with another mess they created for themselves, one that Rubio will now try to clean up with his skills as a salesman.