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Draft Prospect - Ricky Rubio


Ricky Rubio

Team: DKV Joventut, Spain
Height / Weight:  6'4" / 180
Position: Point Guard

Rubio plays for DKV Joventut in the Spanish ACB and Euroleague. There have been conflicting reports as to whether Rubio will declare for the 2009 draft, or wait for another year or two. He is elligible for the 2009 draft, but he has a $9 Million Euro buy-out clause in his Spanish contract that could pose a problem.

Since he may declare, here's my draft prospect report


But first:


Ricky Rubio - Hero (via SeanWatkins)


Athleticism         7
Leadership        10
Size for position 9
Jump shot
Footwork & Fundamentals
Post skills 8
Ball Handling 10
Perimeter Defense 9
Post Defense 9
Help Defense 10
Passing ability 10  - - I would give higher if I could
Speed/Quickness 7
Basketball IQ 10  - - I would give higher if I could
Intensity level 10


Some experts are picking Rubio to be a sure thing future All Star. Others are not so sure that is game will translate to the NBA. A wrist injury has kept him out of the first two months of the EuroLeague, but I was able to watch several DKV Joventut games over the Internet last year, and although Rubio looks like Pistol Pete Maravich, he plays more like Steve Nash. Anyone that saw him play against the USA in the Olympics knows that he has NBA talent, in spades.

This kid has an unreal court sense; almost like he can see into the future.... where players will be, and when they will be there. Every time I watched him, I was reminded of the great passers in NBA history, like Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and John Stockton.  Rubio is able to see the whole court, see all the players and anticipate passing lanes before they actually open up. The only way I can describe it is: uncanny. As a result of his vision and anticipation, he very rarely makes mistakes; nearly always making the right decision. The few games I was able to see, he made the right pass at the right time. A true pass-first point, he didn't look to shoot much. What I did see of his jump shot indicates that he still needs work there. It's steady, but he does not have ideal form, and he shoots it more like a set shot, with little elevation. Not especially fast or quick, he's still able to get into the paint at will. One of the moves he used in all the games I watched was to drive all the way under the basket, then pass back to a cutting big man for the dunk. That happened time after time. He's also adept at passing from the perimeter, finding teammates under the rim for lay ups or for alley-oop dunks. Where he really shines though, is on the break. It's there he shows flashes of how incredibly creative he can be.

On defense, opposing Guards have to be extremely careful when Rubio is on the court. Just ask Chris Paul. He picked Chris Paul's pocket several times when Spain played the US in the Olympics. That's Chris Paul of the New Orleans Hornets. And Post players better know where he is too. One game I watched he had 7 steals in one half of play. He did get beat a couple of times going for the steal; but when he played straight up one-on-one defense, his man did not get around him. He's quick enough laterally to keep in front of the guards in Europe; and he's long enough to contest jump shooters. He's also a pretty good rebounder for his position, as he usually helped out on the defensive boards.

Weaknesses? Well, if I have to be picky, I'd say that he's not much of an athlete. He won't be winning any slam dunk contests.

If he declares, Ricky Rubio should be considered a top pick, vying with with Blake Griffin for the top slot. As a matter of fact, I believe Griffin and Rubio are the only two players I've seen so far that have legitimate All-Star potential. And the best part of Ricky Rubio? He's been playing in Spain, in one of the best International Leagues for several years. Playing against men, some of whom are almost twice his age..... and he's STILL only 18 years old.