Ricky Rubio Barcelona

Ricky Rubio rumors: Lockout remains key issue

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You have to admire the unrelenting optimism in Minnesota that Ricky Rubio is going to play with the team next season.

But even that Midwestern, can-do optimism knows limits — the lockout is strangling that hope right out of Wolves fans. Check out this note from the Pioneer Press where — like only in the Enchanted Tiki Room — little birds can talk.

A little birdie says the Timberwolves have received word from Ricky Rubio’s family that he’s open to signing with them for next season — if there is a season.

The NBA’s labor agreement expires June 30, and that’s an issue for Rubio, the Wolves’ 2009 first-round draft pick who could continue playing for FC Barcelona in Spain if there is an NBA lockout. The 6-foot-4 point guard is averaging 5.5 points and 4.0 assists in 45 games this season.

Rubio sounded more hesitant when he spoke recently, saying. “I do have interest in the NBA, but not as in right away…”

You will see a lot of international players in the NBA draft this year because they can get picked but still play in Europe until the owners and players are done trying to kill the league’s popularity.

Rubio is different, however — he has to inform Barcelona of his decision for next season before the lockout would be done (early summer). So he would have to give up his Barcelona money (and rock-star level popularity) for the uncertainty of the NBA, to sit in the United States waiting for cooler heads to prevail. Then find out what he could get paid for whatever is left of the season.

Wolves fans, you may well get Rubio (so long as he keeps paying, the Wolves have his rights). But despite what talking birds tell you, next year is not a smart bet.

Bradley Beal drives around, dunks over Kristaps Porzingis (VIDEO)

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If you’re a Knicks fan, the positive is that at least Kristaps Porzingis tried to make a play.

But he was not going to stop the athletic Bradley Beal with a full head of steam, and the result was a Beal dunking over Porzingis as he tries to block the attempt.

Beal wasn’t sharp, scoring 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting. The Knicks has an efficient Carmelo Anthony and that got them the win.

Carmelo Anthony drops 21 on Wizards in preseason Friday

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We had an efficient Carmelo Anthony sighting in the preseason.

Anthony and the Knicks went up against the Wizards and ‘Melo hit 10-of-15 shots to score 21 points. He also had four rebounds and four assists.

Derrick Williams had 23 points on 11 shots to lead the Knicks in scoring, and New York won 115-104.