Last night, we learned that Minnesota acquired an extra NBA lottery draft pick apparently with the purpose of drafting TWO point guards and they chose Ricky Rubio and Syracuse's own Jonny Flynn. Many people were left wondering if maybe the lack of a head coach caused chaos in the war room and there was a mistake (especially when they also later in the round, drafted UNC point guard Ty Lawson but then he was traded to Denver for some rationality). Well that's OK, they were drafting to trade one of them to possibly the Knicks later, right? As we found out, draft night ended with the Minnesota Timberwolves having two high rated point guards on their team. So what now?
Minnesota has publicly stated that they are very content with both players and not looking to trade either one. Sean over at http://www.nunesmagician.com/ has a great take on this situation here http://www.nunesmagician.com/2009/6/26/926387/jonny-flynn-is-dave-kahns-backup where Minnesota basically is pointing at Ricky Rubio to be their point guard of the future which might help fuel Jonny's fire. I do think that is a great idea but my problem is that after hours of consideration, seeing quotes Sean uses, experts pondering the situation and even Ricky Rubio's reaction so far to the pick, I am writing this to defend another point, I think the true Timberwolves point guard of the future will be Jonny Flynn.
Let's look at a few things here. First, Rubio's father is hinting that Ricky may play another year or two in Spain, possibly not being content with playing in Minnesota (many say his camp thought he had an excellent shot to play in a major market and that is why he entered the draft). Ricky even told a couple teams that if they drafted him, he would not play there anyway and you have to think that though Minnesota was not named, he was still not thrilled with the choice. He is not at the Minnesota welcoming press conference because of a prior commitment when the majority of the other players drafted are in their new city enjoying the attention of the local fans and media. And he can technically sit out for three years playing in Spain before Minnesota loses the draft rights to him making a good living and come back to play for the team of his choosing.
Next, why would the T'Wolves publicly come out and declare a starting point guard the day after the draft without giving them a chance to prove it on the court, feeding the ball to Kevin Love in person? I have an idea, what makes a trade more efficient, playing up a player as essential to the teams future or releasing a statement stating they don't care about him and will take anything for him? I think this is a good old fashioned lesson from Public Relations 101 : Make Your Product More Appealing.
I full expect Minnesota will trade Ricky Rubio but they also know that trading him for nothing when many view him as a talented player is foolish for a team rebuilding around Kevin Love. It may not be today or tomorrow but it will happen when someone offers Minnesota the right piece of the puzzle they need and possibly to a team Rubio will like and not act like a kid (wait, he still is one, right?) but be grateful for the opportunity to play in the NBA.
I don't like drafts because it does limit a persons individual choice to select their work environment but when you willingly enter this, you know the repercussions and therefore must live with it. Not to mention you will become essentially an instant millionaire and in a couple years, becoming a free agent where you can pick the team of your choice. If someone told me I had to go to Minnesota for 2-3 years and make millions to do, I would pack the family and my stuff and personally ride inside a U-Haul all the way there to begin my new career as an NBA player, something many kids on a playground dream about every year. And I fully expect Jonny Flynn to do the same while Ricky Rubio ponders his future in Spain (or maybe another NBA team) and lead the Minnesota Timberwolves into the 2009-2010 NBA season.