Friday September 19th, 2014

The Minnesota Timberwolves are optimistic they'll be able to sign point guard Ricky Rubio to a long-term extension, general manager Milt Newton told the Associated Press on Thursday.

The two sides have until Oct. 31 to agree to an extension or Rubio will become a restricted free agent next summer. He's entering the final season of the four-year, $15.4 million contract he signed when he arrived from Spain in 2011.

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"I feel optimistic," Milt Newton said. "Knowing Ricky the person, he wants to be here. Now we just have to deal with his agent. If we can get something done sooner, great. If not, we're not necessarily in a rush.

"There some things we agree on, some things we don't agree on."

Newton said he and Timberwolves head coach/president Flip Saunders are having regular discussions with Rubio's agent about an extension. It's been reported that Rubio is seeking a five-year max extension.

Rubio, 23, averaged 9.5 points and a career-high 8.6 assists last season but shot just 38.1 percent from the field.

The Timberwolves traded star forward Kevin Love to the Cleveland Cavaliers this summer, receiving No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins, former No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett and a first-round pick in return. Minnesota then sent the pick to the Philadelphia 76ers for forward Thaddeus Young.

Ben Estes

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