Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 10/27/13
The time for Ricky Rubio to leap into the top echelon of NBA point guards could be upon us. Rubio has delivered shot-making and defensive skills during the exhibition season this fall to go along with his usual assortment of dazzling passes for the Timberwolves, who open their 25th season against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night at Target Center. Most important, he's healthy. It might seem as if Rubio has been around for a long time -- he was plucked by the Wolves with the fifth overall pick of the 2009 NBA draft -- but he has played in just 98 NBA games. He turned 23 last week. Still, as the Wolves attempt to return to the NBA playoffs after a nine-year absence, Rubio is the guy in charge in the backcourt. Forward Kevin Martin was familiar with Rubio as an opponent and welcomed joining him as a teammate after he came over from the Oklahoma City Thunder during the offseason. "We're going to have a lot of fun together, just the plays he can make," Martin said recently. "He should really flourish this year and become the star that everyone knows he will become one day." According to an unnamed scout quoted in Sports Illustrated's NBA preview issue, "Rubio's ability is so off the charts that even if he only became a passable shooter, he could be an all-star." Rubio, for one, places no limitations on himself. "He doesn't want to be one of the best point guards in the NBA," Wolves president of basketball operations Flip Saunders said. "He wants to be the best." The offseason knee surgery that kept Rubio out of Minnesota's first 10 games last season is such a thing of the past that teammate Derrick Williams said Rubio was running better than ever in the early stages of training camp. For good reason: Rubio logged extra time in Spain during the offseason to strengthen his legs. Equally important, he worked extra on his jump shot. He came into this season with a career shooting percentage of just .359, but he has shown more confidence putting the ball up this preseason. He made 6 of 11 three-point shots in seven exhibition games, including 3 of 6 in the Wolves' finale against the Detroit Pistons, and coach Rick Adelman wants more of that.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Report: Thunder interested in trading for Carmelo Anthony

Mayweather says he will stand ‘toe to toe’ with McGregor

Raiders to limit Marshawn Lynch's workload in 2017?

Kobe Bryant responds to if he is influencing Kyrie Irving

Andy Reid chastises Tamba Hali for social media outburst

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Every 2009-2016 NBA MVP will now play for Warriors or Cavaliers

Mike Tyson weighs in on Conor McGregor’s chances of beating Floyd Mayweather

Report: Robert Griffin III scheduled to work out with Chargers

Report: Derrick Rose will sign with Cavs

Notes on the prospects from 2017 NBA Summer League

Mississippi State fan uncovered infamous Freeze phone call

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

Best of Yardbarker: General managers take the spotlight

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

The unexpected rise of the Connecticut Sun

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

Kicking It: USMNT struggles to find consistency in Gold Cup as World Cup qualifying nears

Three Up, Three Down: The Dodgers are a complete juggernaut right now

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

Who won the Open Championship in the year you were born?

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'When George Brett went completely batty' quiz

Finding the possible Achilles' heel for baseball’s best teams

Getaway Day: A pair of aces get lost in the shuffle

Sports & Politics Intersect: Trump casts shadow over U.S. Women's Open

The National League Wild Card is suddenly relevant again

The 'Pay that man his money' quiz

BIG3 Week 5: Pivotal make-or-break weekend in Chicago

The 'Let's show a little love for James Jones' quiz

Making an NFL GM change in the summer has its benefits

The 'Yoan Moncada era starts now' quiz

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker