With the Copa del Rey 2011 done, it is about time to take a look at some of the most regarded prospects of the last years. The same plaudits that were delivered to 20-year-old point guard Ricky Rubio today are the same ones that he was showered with at the 2009 NBA Draft: his ball-handling skills are uncanny, he has excellent vision and stellar court vision.
But basketball betting fans know that many of the same questions about him also linger, such will his shot improve and will he ever come to the NBA? Rubio was drafted fifth overall by the Minnesota Timberwolves and while there was – and will be – rampant speculation of a trade, he is their prospect until further notice.
Rubio’s value was at an all-time high at that draft and a lot of people didn’t understand the Timberwolves draft strategy to draft him, then Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn and then North Carolina point guard Ty Lawson. But then the Timberwolves traded Lawson and Rubio stayed in Europe, so the picture became a little clearer.
But as with most NBA teams, if their players plan to stay in Europe, they would like to see them develop and improve on their weaknesses. For Rubio, that hasn’t been the case so far.
There’s no question that he makes plenty of jaw-dropping plays in the open court but his shot is still weak. He is shooting just 23.9% from the three-point line in the 20 ACB games with FC Barcelona after shooting 40.0% last season in the Spanish League. In the Euroleague, the accuracy is even worse as the netted only 5 out of 28 attempts from behind the arc. His impact on the team is not as high as expected and the recent games during the Copa del Rey underlined this (with exception of the semi-final). The problem is that there is no visible progress on his shooting mechanics that still look very underdeveloped and the fluid jump shot is far from being there.
The second question is whether he will ever come over to North America. Rubio is still very young and there is definitely no rush but he doesn’t seem overly excited to play in Minnesota. Rumors have linked him to the New York Knicks and that appears to be where he wants to go to play with former European coach, Mike D’Antoni. That could potentially speed up his transition to the United States if the Knicks were able to acquire him.
Until then, it looks like Rubio plans to stay in Europe just working on his shot.