Can a Judge (or a Threat) Save Ricky Rubio Some Cash?
Rubio will be picked No. 2 at best, which allots a first-year salary of about $4.5 million. If the Spaniard has to pay the full buy-out with only the cursory allowable help from the team, he basically won't net a dollar in salary his rookie year, let alone the 300,000 Euros in Joventut salary he'd be forfeiting.
But beyond negotiation Rubio is hoping a judge -- or at least the threat of litigation -- will decrease the financial burden of beginning his NBA career.
Barcelona newspaper La Vanguardia reported in Sunday's edition that Rubio's camp, led by European agent German Gonzalez but no doubt pushed by U.S. agent Dan Fegan, plans to sue Joventut on grounds the buy-out is unreasonable commensurate to the player's salary. DraftExpress' Jonathan Givony, attending Reebok Eurocamp in Italy, called the rumor accurate on Monday, and noted that it was a major topic of discussion between NBA and European scouts and executive over the weekend in Treviso.
There is some precedent with respects to European soccer players, though it's unclear if precedent really matters here. More than anything, this seems like a power show by Rubio's camp. The word is that Joventut's owners are struggling. Faced with the threat of litigation, the team may be willing to settle lower than desired to get some cash and get it over with. This shouldn't affect Rubio's draft stock, unless the saga stretches into the final week before the draft.