Northwest Notes: Rubio, Micic, Clarkson, Nuggets

When Ricky Rubio was acquired by the Timberwolves during the 2020 offseason, it was billed as a homecoming for a veteran point guard who began his NBA career in Minnesota. However, speaking to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic, Rubio admitted that the unusual circumstances surrounding the 2020/21 season prevented him from really reconnecting with Wolves fans.

“It didn’t feel like I came back to Minnesota,” Rubio said. “That’s one of the things that hurts the most, being at Target Center and not being able to see real fans and feel the love they have had for me. It’s something that I missed.”

While Rubio should get the opportunity to be around fans in Minnesota next season, he’s entering a contract year and could be a candidate to be traded again this offseason if the Wolves want to shake up their roster. For his part, the Spaniard told Krawczynski that he’d love to remain with the team — as long as it keeps taking positive steps toward contention.

“I don’t want to be on a team where there is no direction, there is no hope we can really take the next step,” he said. “I believe we can take the next step and really be a solid playoff team. That’s why when I got traded to Minnesota I was excited. I thought this was the year. We wasted a year, but there is no more years to waste. If not, the rebuilding process is gonna start over again and I don’t think that’s a fun part to be a part of.”

Here’s more from around the Northwest:

  • Thunder draft-and-stash prospect Vasilije Micic has been voted the EuroLeague’s 2020/21 Most Valuable Player, the league announced on Wednesday. Micic, who averaged 16.3 PPG and 4.8 APG in 38 EuroLeague games for Anadolu Efes is a candidate to come stateside for the 2021/22 season.
  • As Sarah Todd of The Deseret News details, Jazz guard Jordan Clarkson was always reluctant to accept a bench role earlier in his NBA career, viewing it as a slight when he was removed from the starting lineup during his days with the Lakers. However, Clarkson has embraced his reserve role over the years and it paid off in a big way in 2020/21 with a Sixth Man of the Year award.
  • The Nuggets are increasing the capacity at Ball Arena to 10,500 fans, the team announced in a press release. Denver had previously been allowing an attendance of up to 7,750.
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