You knew it was coming.
It’s been less than two full days since the Thunder moved into the top three in the NBA Draft and we already have our first report of Ricky Rubio having no interest in playing in Oklahoma City.
According to the Web site Draftexpress.com, Rubio’s camp is uninterested in seeing their prized 18-year-old point guard phenom begin his career in either of the cities that have the No. 2 and 3 picks.
“From what people around the league are saying, Rubio’s camp may already be sending out feelers indicating that he’s not interested in the least bit in playing in Memphis.”
“Rubio doesn’t want to go to Memphis, and he especially does not want to pay money out of his own pocket with that huge buyout for the honor of doing so. (Dan) Fegan (Rubio’s agent) wants him in L.A., and if he can’t have him there, he wants him in Sacramento. Definitely not Oklahoma City.”
Not quite sure why Sacramento is considered a better destination than Memphis or OKC aside from its obvious proximity to Fegan’s Los Angeles-based agency. The marketing opportunities can’t be that much greater in Sactown. And if you’re Rubio, would you rather play alongside Russell Westbrook, Kevin Durant and Jeff Green or Kevin Martin, Spencer Hawes and Andres Nocioni? Even in Memphis, Rubio would step into a better situation alongside Rudy Gay and O.J. Mayo, not to mention fellow countryman and former teammate Marc Gasol.
Only one major market has a top four pick in this year’s draft, the Los Angeles Clippers. And even though there are more and more reports about the Clips shopping the pick something tells me L.A. can’t seriously be thinking about passing on Blake Griffin.
If the Rubio report is true, however, this of course wouldn’t be the first time Fegan has lobbied to get an international client to a certain market. Remember Yi Jianlian in 2007? I don’t expect this issue will go away over the next month.