Ricky Rubio hasn’t seen the best of days with the Minnesota Timberwolves trading him, something that their decision with Juancho Hernangomez regarding the Olympics may have spurred.
Rubio may have never blossomed into the player the Timberwolves thought he could be when they drafted him at fifth overall in the 2009 NBA Draft.
Rubio would play two years in Spain with FC Barcelona before finally making his NBA debut in 2011. While Rubio has always been a solid contributor, he never lived up to the expectations of a fifth overall pick. His international game, however, is a completely different story.
Ricky Rubio (@rickyrubio9) finished as the points per game leader at the Tokyo Olympics.
— B.League en Español (@B_LeagueES) August 7, 2021
Rubio was dominant when playing for Spain, something he proved in this year’s Tokyo Olympics. However, he was greatly upset when the TWolves refused to let Juanco Hernangomez play in the international stage this year.
Ricky Rubio Was Very Upset That Minnesota Didn’t Let Juancho Hernangomez Play In Tokyo Olympics
The TWolves have been active this NBA offseason, making trades a couple weeks apart from each other. First, they traded Rubio away to the Cleveland Cavaliers for Taurean Prince, and then today, they dealt Juancho Hernangomez and Jarrett Culver.
The situation with Hernangomez not playing in the Tokyo Olympics may have spurred the Wolves to trade away Rubio this offseason. So, why wasn’t the Spaniard allowed to represent his country this year?
TWolves president, Gersson Rosas, said this:
“We support our international players’ decisions to play with their National teams and appreciate the passion of Juancho and the Spanish Federation to represent their country.”
“Unfortunately, we are dealing with an active injury. Based on our team physician’s recommendation, Juancho needs time to recover from and rehabilitate his injury, and that timeline restricts Juancho’s availability to participate in the Tokyo Olympics.”
This definitely upset Rubio, and it created some tension between the two sides leading up to the trade later in the offseason. You can watch this video, from about the 1:00-1:45 mark to understand better and hear more about the Minnesota’s decision to bring in Patrick Beverley too.
Spain would not medal in this year’s Olympics, falling at the hands of team USA in the quarterfinals 95-81, despite Rubio’s heroics.