From the Fanposts: Dishingoutdimes dishes out his hopes for Ricky Rubio Landing in Oklahoma City Next Season. -Mr P
Mark my words, he will be a great NBA player.
I'm not alone in my opinion either. Here's what one NBA GM had to say about Rubio:
"He's special," one NBA GM told ESPN.com. "There aren't many kids you'll find at his age with such a terrific feel for the game. He just knows how to play. When he gets out there with players 10 years older than him, he just looks like he belongs. He'll have some adjusting to do in the NBA, but the truth is, he's as NBA-ready as most of the college kids that are coming out. He's playing on a very big world stage."
I have to admit, I kind of shoved Rubio aside when I was putting together my draft wish list, but the deeper you dig, the more you have to love his potential to be a star. I always love a flashy point guard because I think they create a lot of opportunities for a team, and really open up the floor for the rest of the guys. But even more than that, I think every team just needs a guy to be able to drive to the basket and break down a defense. Ginobli and Parker do this for the Spurs, so it's no wonder that they're always competitive.
Then I saw this video on YouTube. And this one. And you can just tell that he has a knack for getting past defenders and towards the basket. He also seems like a ballhawk who anticipates passing lanes and can get game breaking steals.
A lot of people will dog him for being sleight in frame (180 pounds), but the two easiest things to do once he gets to an NBA team will be to bulk up and to develop a jump shot. Those are the things that NBA coaches can get a young player the fastest, which is why you see a lot of teams drafting athletic freaks.
More after the jump...
People also get on Rubio about his lack of a great shot. Here are some nuggets from DraftExpress.com about that:
...when you consider that he takes under 2.5 jump shots per game, has made only 5 of his 25 logged pull up jumpers, and is still gaining confidence in his improved catch and shoot ability (1.1 Pos/G, 41%, 9/22)...In contrast, his limited isolation possessions are indicative of some issues, as he’s not going to produce a ton in pure one-on-one situations.
It's also widely known that he doesn't have great range on his jump shots, but as you could see in the YouTube videos, he can nail the three.
Of course, like I said, the jump shot is one of the easiest thing for NBA coaches to develop in a young player. And all of this is moot when you consider the following information, also from DraftExpress.com:
Always better known for his creativity and playmaking ability, it doesn’t come as a shock that Rubio looks good in transition. He is shooting 69% on his transition opportunities...Fortunately, Rubio, like most European point guard’s we’ve evaluated, is effective on the pick and roll. With 27% of his touches coming from the two-man game, Rubio could have a mutually beneficial relationship with the post players he is teamed with in the NBA...Rubio simply doesn’t use that many possessions as a scorer (9 Pos/G)
Basically, Rubio is a playmaker and a creator, rather than a scorer. He looks to set up his teammates far more than he looks to set up himself, which is why he could potentially be a great point guard in the league.
His creativity is simply exceptional. He will find a way to squeeze balls through narrow alleys and seems to know 5 steps ahead what he will do when he is driving down the lane. Add to that the fact he has been playing professionally since he was 16 and you have a raw, athletic phenom who has an exceptional upside. Not only that, but he is 6'4", so he is tall for the point guard position. Adding bulk will give him great size at PG.
Finally, he seems to be a developing leader and has that certain pizzazz and panache that makes for a great player. With the ball in his hands, any play could turn into a spectacular one.
And with that, I'll leave you with Rubio's stat line from this past season with DKV Joventut:
10.0 ppg, 39.1 FG%, 42.3 3P%, 80.4 FT%, 6.1 apg, 2.2 steal pg, 2.6 rpg
Adjusted for a per 40 minute rate:
17.4 ppg, 10.6 apg, 3.8 steal pg, 4.5 rpg
His player efficiency rating is a phenomenal 20.5 (average designed to be 15), which is comparable to Rajon Rondo's rating (19.85) in the NBA. His assist to turnover ratio is slightly better than 2. The list could go on and on.
I'm starting to get concerned that Blake Griffin and Ricky Rubio are the two sure bets and that the Thunder may want to use their plethora of assets (cap space, 2 first round draft picks, talented young players like Jeff Green) to trade up to 1 or 2 in the draft order. Hasheem Thabeet is not a great offensive player, and I think he may have trouble getting shots or getting involved in the offense at all. He could become just another really tall role player, exactly what I'm sure Thunder fans don't want to hear. And I think Harden will be a decent shooting guard, but I don't think he has the potential to be great. Anyone else is too risky or will be available lower.
I'm starting to think the Thunder should trade down if they can't get Rubio, or trade up to get him. I think it would be well worth their while, and probably less expensive than trading up to get Griffin.
Stats were from Rubio's DraftExpress page.