LAS VEGAS – Minnesota Timberwolves general manager David Kahn is planning a trip to Spain to meet DKV Joventut officials about lowering the steep $6.6 million buyout clause in draft pick Ricky Rubio's(notes) contract, sources with knowledge of Kahn's plans told Yahoo! Sports on Wednesday.
Kahn will meet with Rubio and his family on the trip, the sources said, but the journey's primary objective is to work with the European team about finding a way to get Rubio to the T'wolves this season. It's expected Kahn will leave for Spain later this week from the NBA's summer league in Las Vegas.
Rubio, 18, is the flashy Spanish point guard Minnesota picked fifth in the June draft.
Rubio "is OK with playing in Minnesota," a source said. "It's a matter of getting the buyout done."
Kahn and Minnesota owner Glen Taylor have met with Rubio's agent, Dan Fegan, during the summer league this week. The Wolves are only allowed to pay $500,000 toward Rubio's buyout, but his endorsers are motivated to get him to the NBA now. Rubio has warmed to the idea of playing in Minnesota, which is determined to make him the franchise's cornerstone player.
Minnesota drafted Syracuse point guard Jonny Flynn(notes) with the sixth pick, and he'll run the team should Rubio have to stay in Europe for another season. If Rubio gets the buyout done, most expect Kahn will trade Flynn, who was considered one of the elite point guards in the draft.
- David Kahn