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Associated Press, Published July 22 2009

Timberwolves draft pick Ricky Rubio to leave Spanish club

GERONA, Spain – Ricky Rubio plans to part ways with Spanish basketball club DKV Joventut even if the Minnesota Timberwolves cannot reach a deal to bring their first round draft pick to the NBA.

Timberwolves president David Kahn was in Spain this week to try and help the fifth overall pick negotiate a buyout of his contract with Joventut. Rubio is at odds with his boyhood club over an $8.2 million buyout clause, which the NBA team can only contribute $500,000 toward.

Regardless of whether the 18-year-old Rubio makes the trip across the Atlantic next season, he won’t be playing at Joventut.

“I want to continue with the club but, after everything that’s happened, I don’t think they’re too comfortable having me in their squad,” Rubio said today. “I want to play in a winning team, on a team that can achieve many things.”

Spanish basketball clubs Real Madrid and Barcelona are both interested in signing Rubio if he cannot make it to the NBA this season.