Ricky Rubio made his NBA debut earlier this week as the Minnesota Timberwolves faced the Thunder. Coming off the bench, Rubio put up 6 points, 4 assists, and 3 steals in 27 minutes of action. He posted similar numbers in his second game against the Bucks on Wednesday. The numbers may not jump out (yet), but if you watched either of these games, or have watched him play in international competition, it’s clear that Rubio is going to be a force in this league. At 21, his court vision already rivals that of the league’s best. If he can get his jump shot to fall consistently, he’ll be a star. The Wolves look to be a great situation for Rubio and the young talent around him in Kevin Love, Derrick Williams, Michael Beasley, and even newly acquired guard J.J. Barea. You can feel the buzz at Target Center through the television every time Rubio touches the ball, the crowd anticipating the next great dish.
I’d be shocked if Rubio’s rookie cards stay at their current level, for several reasons. One- he’s the only rookie this year that actually has true rookie cards out! His true rookies were produced for the 2009-10 season as he was drafted back in 2009. The other option is the new SP Authentic product, but some of the top rookies are missing from this set (Kyrie Irving, Derrick Williams). Two- the availability is limited. His Topps, Upper Deck, and Greats of the Game rookies can be had for cheap, generally under $5, but I would expect the price of these to rise as more folks get to see Rubio with the Wolves. Anything outside of these and his UD Draft Edition card are selling high, as most of these others are autographed and from higher-end products. Even his Topps Chrome rookie /999 is tough to find.
Rubio will certainly provide his share of SportsCenter highlights this year. I for one will be watching the Wolves on the league pass as often as I can.