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Ricky Rubio is not worth a max contract

Ricky Rubio is looking to get paid this off-season
Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

Even though it's not the "real" max that the NBA has to offer for free agents (it's about 5 years, 120 million), Ricky Rubio and his agent are asking the Minnesota Timberwolves for the max rookie scale extension, which can vary depending on the current CBA and cap situation. However, if John Wall's recent max extension is any indication, it will be 5 years, in the 87 million dollar range. Rubio is, in no way worth that kind of money.

Let me make this clear: Rubio is a good player. He's the only player in the league who can shoot below 39% and score less than 10 points per game but still have a PER higher than 15. Or course, scoring isn't the reason why Rubio is asking for the max extension; passing is what makes Rubio a worth while player, and he is quite the passer; Rubio averaged 8.6 assists per game, and limited his turnovers to only 2.7 per game. He had an assist percentage of 37.8%, which was the 6th highest percentage in the league. Rubio is one of the best passers in the league. His defense is solid enough; he gambles quite a bit (which helps keep his steal percentage at the top of the league and helps him average 2.3 steals per game), and his man-to-man defense isn't that much of a weakness.

And yet, he still isn't worth 17.5 million dollars a year. Rubio's closest comparison, in terms of skill set and Per 36 minutes production is the Boston Celtic's star point guard Rajon Rondo. Rondo is the better player of the two, actually putting up respectable scoring outputs while shooting close to 48% for his career. Rondo is earning about 12 million, which sounds like what Rubio should be worth.

Obviously, the Timberwolves want to keep Rubio around, especially with Kevin Love seemingly with a foot out the door already, but Minnesota has to be careful to not overpay for him and inhibit their cap space, thus limiting their already lackluster ability to bring in impact free agents and to make trades.

The Timberwolves' desperation might make Ricky Rubio a very, very rich man, whether he's worth it or not.

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