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Minnesota Timberwolves general manager Milt Newton has insisted that he is optimistic that the franchise will come to an agreement with point guard Ricky Rubio on a contract extension.
Newton hopes to have negotiations concluded before the start of the new season, but he reiterated that he is in no rush despite the possibility of Rubio becoming a restricted free agent next summer.
Nevertheless, the franchise hierarchy have had regular conversations with Rubio’s agents, and while they have yet to agree on terms, Newton appeared to be in confident mood that it will eventually happen.
“We’re going to look at the situation the same way we did with Kevin (Love),” Newton told reporters at an informal workout on Thursday.
“We’re going to do the best thing for the organization, and if we can get something done sooner, great. If not, we’re not necessarily in a rush.”
If Rubio becomes a restricted free agent, the Timberwolves could match any offer that he receives on the open market, although it doesn’t appear as though they are willing to offer the five-year maximum contract that former team president David Kahn was saving for the point guard.
Instead, Minnesota are hopeful of signing Rubio to a four-year deal with the numbers involved still up for negotiation. Newton conceded that it would be a show of good will and faith to have the contract situation concluded before the season, but it remains to be seen if an agreement can be reached.
Rubio has established himself as one of the more creative point guard’s in the league, averaging 8.6 assists and 2.3 steals last season, but he has struggled with his shooting as he enters his fourth season in the NBA.
The Spanish ace averaged 9.5 points on 38.1 percent shooting last season, and it is widely felt that until he improves that aspect of his game then the Timberwolves will not be willing to offer a significant long-term deal.