Ball Don't Lie - NBA

In 2011, we might be at a point where just about any anonymous source described as "a little birdie" should be immediately dismissed. And the Minnesota Timberwolves haven't had much fun this season, so when Pioneer Press columnist Charley Walters drops this nugget, we should at very least quote it.

You know, just in case.

Charley?

A little birdie says the Timberwolves have received word from Ricky Rubio's(notes) family that he's open to signing with them for next season — if there is a season.

The NBA's labor agreement expires June 30, and that's an issue for Rubio, the Wolves' 2009 first-round draft pick who could continue playing for FC Barcelona in Spain if there is an NBA lockout. The 6-foot-4 point guard is averaging 5.5 points and 4.0 assists in 45 games this season.

Now, all indications are that Rubio wants absolutely nothing to do with playing in the NBA next season, or any time after that.

And, as the hype behind this kid's skills has faded away (Rubio hasn't seemed to develop much over the years, and his scoring and shooting ability makes Rajon Rondo(notes) look like Derrick Rose(notes)), the general consensus around the NBA is that Timberwolves fans shouldn't want to hear that Ricky Rubio will be playing for the team next year.

Which leads us to believe that the only people on earth who still have high hopes for Ricky Rubio: Lottery Talent -- the Minnesota Timberwolves front office -- might be full of little birdies. Hoping to rile up some enthusiasm after another frustrating rebuilding season in Minnesota. We can't blame them.

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