Timberwolves Assistant GM Rob Babcock: ‘Finding a player like Ricky is a rarity’
Minnesota Timberwolves Assistant General Manager Rob Babcock joined Jeff Thurn on Thursday’s edition of Overtime on ESPN 99.1.To hear Thurn's conversation with Babcock, listen below:
Ricky Rubio signed a four-year contract worth 56 million with the Minnesota Timberwolves. Thurn asked Babcock why the Timberwolves locked up Rubio for another four years?
"Well I think it's the way you started off with a description of point guards is exactly the reason. The majority of point guards coming up through basketball these days are not true point guards. They are scoring point guards. They are not really classic, run the team, make everybody around you better. Flip Saunders runs an offense that's reliant on a point guard that knows how to play. That knows how to make players better. That understands the passing angle, spacing, the flow and all that. And Ricky is one of those type of point guards. What type of value do you place on a lot of items that do not show up in the statistics? Well that is up for the coach, general manager, and owner to make those decisions. But just because Ricky does not score a lot of points, does not mean that he is not an extremely valuable point guard, and especially in Flip's system."
Does signing Rubio help the Timberwolves build for the future?
"Well Ricky knows how to play the game. He knows how to run the team. That's a little bit of a dying art as I mentioned before. At that stage where we are not doing a very good job with our young kids and teaching them how to play. And the point guard position is generally the quarterback type position. To be honest, we are doing a lousy job of preparing players to play basketball these days. So finding a player like Ricky is a rarity. You don't find many players that really understand how to play the point guard position. So, Ricky is the type of guy that makes everybody better. You run, get out in the break and you can see the ball. We've surrounded him with a lot of players that can play off of him. A lot of guys are young and developing, but Ricky is still young and developing as well."
Catch Thurn daily on ESPN 99.1 in Sioux Falls from 3 to 6 p.m. Follow Jeff on Twitter @jtespn991 and Sam @samtastad.