The Timberwolves have officially signed Ricky Rubio to a contract extension, the team announced (on Twitter). Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports first reported the four-year, $55MM deal, which includes $1MM in incentives, as Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune adds (Twitter link). There are no team or player options in the arrangement, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press (Twitter link).
“We are excited to sign Ricky to a contract extension and keep him as a foundation for years to come,” Timberwolves president of basketball operations/coach Flip Saunders said in the team’s statement. “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 as a team leader. We look forward to many great years ahead of Ricky in a Timberwolves uniform.”
Agent Dan Fegan had reportedly been seeking the maximum salary for his client, which likely would have been at least $85MM over five years, so the Wolves achieved some level of success in negotiating Rubio’s camp down from that amount. The Wolves had initially talked about four years and $44MM, and upped the offer to $48MM, then to $52MM and beyond for the 24-year-old.
Rubio’s extension matches the average annual salary that fellow point guard Eric Bledsoe netted in his new five-year contract with the Suns, at least with Rubio’s $1MM in incentives factored in, notes Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The dollar figure represents the sort of high-leverage negotiations that had been taking place for a franchise that lost Kevin Love via trade this summer, as Charlie Adams of Hoops Rumors examined when he looked at Rubio’s extension candidacy. The Wolves ultimately saw the prospect of increased revenues from the league’s recent $24 billion TV deal as motivation to come up in their offers, tweets Jon Krawczynski of The Associated Press, who adds that the team wanted to show faith in the former No. 5 overall pick.
The deal gives Minnesota approximately $50.2MM in guaranteed salary commitments for the 2015/16 season, though that figure doesn’t account for Thaddeus Young‘s $9,971,739, Chase Budinger‘s $5MM, or Corey Brewer‘s $4,905,000 player options.
In his three years in the league, Rubio has averaged 10.2 PPG, 4.1 RPG, and 8.1 APG. His slash line is .369/.323/.799.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. Chuck Myron contributed to this post.