Spanish teenage sensation Ricky Rubio has issued a statement that he is ready to make the leap to the NBA, saying it’s his goal to enter the NBA for the 2009-10 season.
“The hope and responsibility not to disappoint has given me the will to continue to work and I believe that I am ready to take that leap and to realize the dream that any player has. … My wish is to go to the NBA for the 2009-10 campaign,” said Rubio.
The 18-year-old Rubio is still under contract with his Spanish club DKV Joventut for two more seasons and will have to pay the team most of the $6 million buyout.
Rubio’s agent Dan Fegan met with DKV Joventut president Jordi Villacampa this week to discuss the June draft, in which the point guard could go as high as second behind Oklahoma’s Blake Griffin. And chances are he would land with either the Sacramento Kings, the Los Angeles Clippers or Washington Wizards.
“I can be at the top and that is why I am making myself available. No basketball player can say no to a high position in the draft. It assures you will go there and already have a name. My agent will speak to the franchises and I will try to give everything,” said Rubio, who turns 19 in October.
It was Rubio’s experience at the Beijing Olympics last summer that convinced him the he could play against the best players in the world.
“At the time, I didn’t think about it,” he said. “But I realized that I can play against the best and I believe I’m not mistaken.”
Rubio’s remaining two years with Joventut, whom he led to the 2008 ULEB Cup title, and his buyout could be a major issue. Even the rising star admitted so: “That could be an impediment, but I am not concerned because my agents are working on it.”
Meanwhile, the Spanish club remains adamant about trying to keep Rubio in Spain for at least one more season. Joventut last season lost Rudy Fernandez to the NBA as the Spanish national team star left for the Portland Trail Blazers.
Rubio concluded by saying he doesn’t want to talk about the NBA until the season is over but added, “I want to thank DKV for the confidence they gave me in allowing me to make my ACB debut at such a young age. Whatever happens in the future, I will always have Joventut in my heart.”