Knicks, Rubio, lebron, mavericks
When the Timberwolves visit the Garden tomorrow, they'll be without the 19-year-old floppy-haired Spanish point guard the Knicks still covet.
Ricky Rubio, whom the Wolves drafted sixth, is playing in Spain this season, switching teams to FC Barcelona. That actually turned out well for the Knicks, who are still marking his progress.
Knicks international scout Kevin Wilson, who's responsible for their pick of Danilo Gallinari, lives in Barcelona and the Regal Barcelona team is his hometown club. It has been well-documented Wilson is friends with the Rubio family and Ricky's parents would love to see the Timberwolves deal him to New York.
Wilson is in town this week as the Knicks have their scouting meetings as a prelude to the Feb. 19 trading deadline and discussing available point guards will be a priority.
Knicks president Donnie Walsh told The Post the last time he spoke to Wolves president David Kahn, his former assistant in Indiana, he was told Minnesota wasn't accepting trade offers now. Rubio is averaging 5.6 assists for Barcelona and showing marked improvement, but he's still leery about spending his career in Minnesota.
"David has told me he wants to bring Ricky over for next season," Walsh told The Post.
Beyond signing a maximum free agent, the Knicks will be in the market for a point guard this offseason since Chris Duhon and Nate Robinson will become free agents and aren't likely to be re-signed.
* Mavericks owner Mark Cuban doesn't feel the Knicks are in the lead for LeBron James just because they will lead the league in cap space. The Mavericks will be under the cap if they renounce Erick Dampier and Josh Howard.
"It doesn't matter," Cuban said. "With any top-tier player, when they have multiple choices for [maximum] money, it really comes down to where he thinks he has the best chance to win. That's up to each individual organization to convince him of that. New York is a great selling point, Miami is a great selling point, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Memphis. Maybe he's a huge Elvis [Presley] fan."
Cuban is host to next month's All-Star weekend that will be played in the new Cowboys Stadium. Cuban said 85,000 tickets have already been sold and the NBA is deciding whether to add more. Cuban would like to break the stadium record of 105,000.
"It could be for north Texas, the largest party weekend in the history of the United States," Cuban said.
* David Lee's All-Star candidacy may have taken a hit because of the Knicks' recent 2-6 slide, putting them nine games below .500.
D'Antoni said: "If [Lee] were on one of the top teams, without a doubt. If he doesn't make it, it's because we didn't win enough."
rubio was drafted 5th btw
He won't be moved till season is over if at all seems.
This is a bright spot for the Knicks. He could be the equivelant to a #1 pick for us this offseason. Unfortunately I dont know who the Knicks would have to give up for Rubio. Hill?