MINNEAPOLIS -- Ricky Rubio is basketball's rock star, a pro since he was 14 with a flair on the court that has made him the sport's first international YouTube sensation.
His mop of hair, dark eyes, lanky 6-4, 180-pound frame and deft passing skills have drawn repeated comparisons to the legendary Pete Maravich, and teenage girls are said to swoon when he leaves the locker room of his Spanish pro team.
So it is not surprising that the selection of this precocious 18-year-old Spaniard by the Timberwolves in last week's NBA draft has created a buzz around the woebegone franchise not seen since Kevin Garnett's glory days. But excitement is tempered on two fronts: Will a huge buyout required of his current European contract prevent him from playing with the Wolves next season, as Spanish newspapers have reported? And just how good is Rubio?