Sportress of Blogitude

Ricky Rubio eager to work with T’Wolves rookie Kris Dunn

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Minnesota Timberwolves star Ricky Rubio insists he’s eager to mentor Kris Dunn, despite how the arrival of rookie point guard arguably undermined his position with the only NBA organization he’s ever known.

Whispers about Rubio being on the block have gone back as far as the NBA trade deadline last season. But when the Timberwolves drafted Dunn, the chatter became much louder.

Rubio, however, believes he ought to do everything he can to help Dunn get acclimated to the NBA.

“Really it’s a challenge,” Rubio told The Associated Press, via the Star Tribune. “When a young guy like him who has a lot of potential comes, I think we can really play together. But if we don’t (share the floor often), I can really help him.”

New Timberwolves head coach and top executive Tom Thibodeau has hinted that Dunn and Rubio could see the court at the same time after selecting Dunn with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft.

Rubio, 25, also insisted he’s excited to work with the new coaching staff.

“They have a lot of years in their backpack and really can teach us how to reach the next level,” he said. “I think we have the tools. We just have to put all them together.”

Rubio has had to navigate a tremendously difficult offseason, both professionally and personally. Not only has he had to deal with the persistent trade rumors swirling around him, he also struggled on the court while playing for Spain at the Rio Olympics.

But obviously far more devastating for Rubio is that he also is mourning the death of his mother, who passed away in May at the age of 56 from lung cancer.

Rubio seems genuinely excited for the upcoming season, calling the roster the “best group” of teammates he’s had in his five years with the Wolves. He’s also saying all the right things about Dunn and the new coaching staff.

Still, in light of what Rubio has had to say about his potential future with the Timberwolves, the 2016-17 NBA season may be his last chance to reach the postseason for the first time in his career with the organization.