The decision of whether or not to extend Ricky Rubio was an interesting one for the Timberwolves.
Initially, the team offered four years and $48 million, which seemed to be more than a fair price for a point guard who averaged 10.7 points, 4.7 rebounds and 9.6 assists last season — and that was with Kevin Love still in the fold to handle the bulk of the responsibilities offensively.
Rubio’s camp balked, however, and rather than see what kind of offers he may receive as a restricted free agent next summer, Minnesota decided to go even higher in order to lock up Rubio now before things could potentially get crazy.
From Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports:
Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio has reached agreement on a four-year, $55 million-plus contract extension, a league source tells Yahoo Sports.
The deal could be worth an extra $1 million if Rubio hits certain incentives, reports Jerry Zgoda of the Star Tribune.
There’s a lot Rubio does right; he has above-average court vision, which results in superior passing that consistently allows him to find teammates for open looks. He excels with dribble penetration, which opens up additional passing lanes that make things easier for him while capably running the team’s offense.
The glaring issue with Rubio, of course, is his inability to make shots at a high percentage. He shot just 38.1 percent from the field last season, which was a career best through his first three NBA seasons.
But Minnesota is a market that needs to lock up homegrown talent at any price. Kevin Love bolted in free agency the moment he got the chance, and free agents aren’t ever going to see the Timberwolves as a desirable landing spot. Rubio can be a franchise cornerstone to pair with the newly-acquired Andrew Wiggins, and for that reason, this extension was a bargain for Minnesota, and a fair one for Rubio to accept.