The Minnesota Timberwolves today announced the club has signed guard Ricky Rubio to a multi-year contract extension.
“We are excited to sign Ricky to a contract extension and keep him as a foundation for years to come,” said Timberwolves President of Basketball Operations/Head Coach Flip Saunders. “He is annually among the league leaders in assists and steals, and his intangibles make him a very valuable player to our team. Ricky is only in his fourth season and because of his work ethic and determination, we are confident that he will continue to grow as a player and a team leader. We look forward to many great years ahead of Ricky in a Timberwolves uniform.”
“I am happy to be staying with the Wolves and look forward to many successful seasons in Minnesota,” Rubio said. “Our fans have been great and I am excited to be able to play in front of them for many years. I will continue to work hard to improve my game and help our team get better.”
“This has been a long process and I am thrilled that we have reached an agreement,” said Timberwolves owner Glen Taylor. “We drafted Ricky over three years ago and had to wait two years for him to come over. He came to us with such high expectations and he immediately proved why we were so high on him. Unfortunately he got hurt at the end of his rookie season, but he has worked so hard to come back and we believe he has a long and successful career ahead of him. He’s a great foundation for our franchise and we’re very happy to keep Ricky here long term to work and grow with the young nucleus that we have.”
Rubio completed his third season in the NBA last year by averaging 9.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and a career-high 8.6 assists – good for fourth in the NBA and the top single-season figure by a Minnesota player since Terrell Brandon’s 8.9 apg average in 1999-2000. He tied the club single-game assist record by dishing out 17 helpers on Feb. 19, 2014 vs. Indiana. The 6-4 guard ranks 4th among all players with 59 double-digit assist games since the start of the 2011-12 season and his 1473 total assists since the 2011-12 season ranks fifth in the NBA. Rubio has registered three career triple-doubles, tying him with Kevin Love for second on the Wolves all-time list.
Rubio registered a career-high and franchise-record 190 steals last season, including an NBA-high 10 games with 5+ steals. Rubio has finished second in steals per game in each of the last two seasons, including a single-season franchise record mark of 2.4 spg a season ago. His 421 steals since he entered the NBA are the second-most (Chris Paul, 478) over that span.
The Barcelona, Spain native was selected with the 5th overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft after playing professionally overseas since 2005. He signed with the Wolves prior to the 2011-12 season and finished runner-up for Rookie of the Year honors after averaging 10.6 points, 4.2 rebounds and 8.2 assists in 41 games.