MINNEAPOLIS — Hours after flashy first-round pick Ricky Rubio skipped an introductory news conference with the Minnesota Timberwolves, the franchise’s new front man issued an open letter to fans and critics who are worried the team goofed by drafting two point guards.
Timberwolves president David Kahn told jittery supporters he believes Rubio, the fifth overall pick, and Jonny Flynn, the sixth pick, will play off of each other extremely well and "together, we will have one of the most dynamic defensive backcourts in the NBA over time.” Kahn also wrote that he chose Rubio with the fifth pick, and not the sixth, to give the 18-year-old Spaniard a little extra money to help with a $6.6 million buyout from Joventut Badalona in Spain. The Timberwolves talked with several teams above them on draft day to try and move up and select Rubio even higher, which would have brought more money to help pay Joventut, but "the price was too steep,” Kahn said. There is no intention, as of now, to trade either Rubio or Flynn, but Kahn has already received several phone calls about their availability. If Rubio’s agent, Dan Fegan, cannot negotiate a more favorable buyout with Joventut, the Timberwolves will simply wait. "I told the agent we would be willing to wait if it made it easier for them,” Kahn said at the news conference, attended by Flynn and Wayne Ellington, the team’s other first-round pick.