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Source: Rubio does not have deal with Barcelona


A source close to the Ricky Rubio situation denied a report that the Timberwolves' draft pick is signing with FC Barcelona.

The Spanish newspaper Marca reported Wednesday that Rubio, the No. 5 selection in the June draft, had landed a six-year deal with the Spanish league powerhouse.

"He has not agreed to any deal," the source said.

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While the 18-year-old point guard is believed to be negotiating with multiple European teams, his first choice remains playing in the NBA this season. However, Rubio's buyout with DKV Joventut -- believed to be $4.9 million, only $500,000 of which can be paid by the Timberwolves -- has made negotiations difficult. If Rubio were to pay $4.4 million for his release, he effectively would be playing his first two seasons in the NBA for free. According to sources, Rubio's U.S. representatitve, Dan Fegan, and Joventut have made progress on reducing the buyout, but no deal is close.

Further, there is a belief in NBA circles that Barcelona put out that it had reached a deal with Rubio in an effort to pressure Joventut to agree to a buyout.