Prospect of the Day - Ricky Rubio

Olympics Day 16 - BasketballRicky Rubio
DKV Joventut
NBA Position: PG
H: 6'4, W: 180, Age 18

When looking at Rubio remember that he's only 18.    At 18, he displays
the best court vision of any PG prospect in the draft and probably in
any draft I've scouted in depth.    He makes highlight real passes with
great frequency and will benefit by playing with athletic teammates who
can finish at a higher level.    With that said, he is prone to making
turnovers with the ball while attempting the amazing. 

Besides his top-notch creation skills, Rubio is an excellent ball handler with either hand, and uses that ability to get in the lane, overcoming a lack of athleticism.    He is reminiscent of an inexperienced Steve Nash without the jumper or finishing ability.    Like Nash, he can get where he wants through ball handling rather than athleticism.   He change speeds, use hesitations, and lots of advanced ball handling moves to unbalance athletic defenders and go past them.

Rubio plays almost exclusively in the pick and roll, and he executes it wonderfully making good decisions on whether to drive, find a cutter, a spot up shooter, or the roll man.   He's the only player scouted to be double teamed out of the pick and roll more frequently than not showing how much respect defenses have for him.

The problems with Rubio come down to a few things, all of which are related to him being so young.   First, he doesn't have a great jump shot yet.    He's does fair on kick outs and open looks, but he can't hit a jumper when contested or off the dribble yet, because of this, he can struggle to create efficient offense for himself.

He's not a particularly good finisher at the basket.   He gets fouled a lot when he drives, but when he isn't fouled he really struggles to finish contested looks.   He doesn't have advanced lay up skills to be able to attack the basket and hit shots at difficult angles like most NBA guards are capable of doing.   This is another point which should improve with practice, though his lack of athleticism gives him less time in the air to make adjustments.

As noted above, his athleticism and explosiveness is below average for his position.   This leaves him playing below the rim and may cause issues on defense at the next level.     Rubio did play very solid fundamental defense, especially for his age, though, so it may not be as big a concern on that end.   However, it's hard to see him staying in front of quicker guards with the greater spacing the NBA affords it's players.

Rubio has tremendous upside at the next level.    If he learns to shoot and finish at tougher angles in a few years, then he could become a PG in the mold of Steve Nash and lead a very dynamic offense.    However, if he can't improve those things to become more of a scoring threat on his own then his play making skills will be more limited since to create for others you must first be a threat yourself.    Given his age, the likeliness of him improving the things he needs to is very high.

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  • Not Pistol Pete, more like J Kidd because the shot just isn't there. He can't score like Pistol did but his feel and size screams Jason Kidd.

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