Setting the Record Straight on Rubio

I just wanted to take a moment and respond to a recent comment that was made on Hardwood Paroxysm regarding my take on the Ricky Rubio situation.  Basically, what I said was completely taken out of context and the way it was relayed made myself and this site look ridiculous.  I’m not upset with Matt Moore or HP at all.  I get that he was trying to look for examples to prove his point that Minnesota fans are over-reacting to the Rubio situation and there’s not many Wolves blogs out there to build his case off of.  He saw something that looked border-line extreme and ran with it.  However, I feel the need to respond for two reasons.  #1 – To prove I’m not the crazy person that Matt implied I am, and #2 – because it’s a good reason to write another front page post!

For those of you wondering, the offending post, entitled “The State of Minnesota is Now the Edge of Madness”, can be found here.

For those of you looking to get down to the heart of the matter, here’s the excerpt from his post that I took issue with:

They’ve bought into the idea that “sure, he may not be around next year, but eventually he’ll be here.” What’s the success rate on that? And in the meantime, you have a #5 pick that has netted you absolutely nothing.  Not only that, but there’s the level of exaggeration the kid has created in the fanbase, even as he makes it pretty obvious he has no interest in suiting up in Minny’s colors.

We’re not just talking “Wow, he’s going to be a great addition to this team as we rebuild, the future still is bright!” No, no. We’re talking “He is (not ‘going to be’, is) better than Dwyane Wade and Deron Williams.”

You see, I never, NEVER said that Ricky Rubio is better than Dwayne Wade or Deron Williams.  That’s insane.  In fact, I said the exact opposite…

Ricky Rubio is a once in a generation talent, and, at the moment, I can count on one hand the number of players I’d accept as compensation for him (LeBron, Kobe, Dwight, Chris Paul, and maybe Bosh).  I’m not saying that Dwayne Wade, or Deron Williams, or a handful of players aren’t better than Rubio, but Ricky is one of a kind.  If you trade away Ricky, you’re never going to be able to replace him.   As large of a haul as Kahn may be able to receive in a Rubio deal, I’d much rather see him hang onto Ricky and try to acquire those important pieces with our other assets. Rubio’s a special player, and if he’ll simply embrace the people of Minnesota, the T-Wolves nation is more than willing to make him our superstar.

Maybe that wasn’t 100% clear, but what I essentially said was this – “I’d trade Ricky for LeBron, Kobe, Dwight Howard, Chris Paul, and maybe Chris Bosh.  Even though Dwayne Wade and Deron Williams and a handful of other players ARE BETTER, I’d rather hang onto Ricky.

So maybe you’re thinking, “Yup, Derek, you aren’t crazy for saying that Ricky Rubio is better than Dwayne Wade, but you ARE crazy for not being willing to trade Ricky Rubio for Dwayne Wade.”  If so, fair enough.  However, I have my reasons for feeling that way, and I think they’re at least fairly legit and not on “the edge of madness”:

#1 – Dwayne Wade already has a lot of miles on that body of his.  How much longer can he continue to to play the way he does before it takes its toll?  Personally, I see Wade as a great player, but one with a limited shelf-life.  Ricky Rubio is 18 years old.  The Wolves aren’t ready to contend at the moment, even with Wade.  I’d rather see the Wolves stick with somebody who’s going to be 21 in 2012, than somebody who may be limping around the court.

#2 – Guys like Deron Williams, Brandon Roy, and whatever other all-stars you want to throw in there, all have, or will soon have, fat contracts.  Ricky’s going to be making rookie money for another three seasons.  If we go and trade for Deron Williams and you put his salary next to Al Jefferson’s, we’re done.  That’s your team – Williams, Jefferson, and Love.  You’re done with free-agency and you’re flirting with the luxury tax on any trades.   Williams, Jefferson, and Love aren’t winning you a title.  It’s a definite upgrade, and a likely playoff team, but I’m going to pass.  I want Kahn to build for a championship. With a core of Ricky, Jefferson, and Love, potentially three 1st rounders in 2010, youngsters like Brewer and Flynn, and tons of expiring contracts, I think the better route for the Wolves to take is to keep Rubio and build the remainder of this team with those other assets.

#3 – I just flat-out love the way Ricky plays basketball.  He’s fun to watch and he brings a dynamic to the game that no other player does.  I’d really like to see where he’d be able to take this team.  Our guard play for the past three seasons has been beyond pathetic.  We haven’t had a legit point guard since the day Sam Cassell was traded away.   Maybe, just maybe, having somebody who can orchestrate the offense the way that Rubio can will finally help all our other players reach their potential.  He himself may not be better than the other players I’ve listed, but if he indirectly makes Jefferson better, and Love better…  Now we’re talking something special. Maybe I’m just pulling this out of my rear, but I’d really love to at least what the kid can do before we just ship him away sight unseen.

So am I on the “edge of madness”?  I would like to think that I’m not.  I didn’t go into great detail in my initial claims regarding Rubio, Dwayne Wade and Deron, so it’s understandable why they were taken out of context.  Like I said before, no hard feelings with Matt.  I just felt like I should clarify my statements as HP is one of the web’s premiere baskeball blogs.  I do have a blog network to run after all.  Nobody’s going to want to turn their site over to a crazy guy!

Derek Hanson

About Derek Hanson

Doctor by day, blogger by night, Derek Hanson founded the Bloguin Network and TWolves Blog. He is one of the original Timberwolves fans, hailing back to 1989.

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