Chad Ford of ESPN wrote:
The Sacramento Kings finally got their wish on Monday … Ricky Rubio in their gym.
Unfortunately for Rubio and the Kings, he was playing one-on-none after going a month without picking up a basketball. The results shouldn't be much of a surprise to anyone. Several sources surrounding the Kings said Rubio didn't blow anyone away.
Of course he didn't. Rubio is a pass-first point guard who makes everyone around him better in a five-on-five game. In a one-on-none I wouldn't expect him to be great. He's not going to shoot the lights out. He's not going to put up highlight-reel dunks. He's just not that type of player.
But they did get to see him live. They got his measurements (6-foot-5 in shoes with a 6-foot-7 wingspan). They got to check out his body language and English skills.
Most importantly, the Kings got word that Rubio was making progress on a deal with his club in Spain DKV Joventut that will lower his buyout to roughly $4 million. When you factor in that Rubio will be allowed to make his payments over several years, there is no longer a huge financial impediment for Rubio to come to the draft.
The question on everyone's mind right now? What will the Kings do? The answer? It depends.
First there's a chance Rubio might not be there at No. 4.
The word on Monday night is that it looks like Hasheem Thabeet will be the Grizzlies' pick at No. 2 if they don't trade the pick.
With Thabeet gone, Thunder GM Sam Presti will decide between Rubio, James Harden and Stephen Curry.
If they take Rubio … then the Kings will likely draft either Tyreke Evans or Jonny Flynn.
If Rubio is on the board, it will be a pretty tough decision. As we've written previously, this is a debate about upside versus present value. Evans and Flynn are ready to play now. No question. Rubio? It may take him a while to adjust (though some in the league think he's actually more ready to play in the NBA after years of experience playing pro ball in Spain).
I don't think there's any question that Rubio has the most upside of the group. Given the fact that the Kings are so dreadful at the moment, wouldn't they choose the best player for the long-term health of the franchise? It depends. Most of the Kings' front office staff is in the last year of their contracts. Do they want to stick their necks out for Rubio when they could take a safer pick like Evans or Flynn?
You get the picture.
If the Kings pass, a number of teams are trying to get Washington's pick at No. 5. Presumably Rubio is the target of at least some of the Wizards' suitors.
The Timberwolves at No. 6 are also high on Rubio. So are the Knicks at No. 8.