Report: Timberwolves willing to wait on contract extension for Rubio if he won’t accept 4-year deal

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Ricky Rubio is eligible for a contract extension from the Timberwolves before Oct. 31, but if the two sides can’t agree to a deal by then, he’ll become a restricted free agent next summer.

As we saw this offseason, that’s not always an ideal situation for a player to be in; just ask Greg Monroe about that.

Rubio would be wise to try to get something done now, unless he believes that the market for his services will be huge next summer, when he could potentially entice another team to sign him to an offer sheet for a four-year deal worth the max.

The Timberwolves, however, can give Rubio a fifth year that no other team can under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement, and that’s what he’s holding out for at this stage of the proceedings. But the team isn’t feeling it just yet, and may wait until next summer if Rubio forces the issue.

From Charley Walters of Twincities.com:

Contract talks that could make Ricky Rubio the second-highest-paid Timberwolves player will take place in person this week, and both the 23-year-old point guard and the Wolves seem ready to make a deal.

Rubio and Wolves owner Glen Taylor spoke several times by telephone last week, with each expressing hope a contract extension can get done soon. …

Rubio’s representation has been seeking a five-year maximum contract that could be worth about $75 million. The Wolves are willing to wait if Rubio decides a four-year deal isn’t enough.

Four years at $11 million per seems fair for what Rubio brings, but then again, a similar deal seemed reasonable for Eric Bledsoe in Phoenix, and he was ultimately able to convince the Suns to go much, much higher.

The point here is that teams can find weird ways to justify overpaying for talent. Not only is there the argument that the salary cap will be increasing substantially once the new broadcast rights deals are signed (thus making contracts agreed to now seem like bargains in the very near future), but there’s also the fact that players approaching star levels from a talent perspective simply don’t come to places like Minnesota by choice in free agency.

The Timberwolves¬†have a decision to make in terms of just how much they value Rubio. But there’s certainly no rush, and if a four-year deal is all they want to offer, they can wait until next summer to make that happen.