ESPN’s Chris Sheridan explains:
If Rubio exercises his 1 million euro buyout in the summer of 2011 after two seasons with FC Barcelona, he then would be able to sign with the Timberwolves (or any other NBA team if Minnesota were to trade his rights) under terms of the 2011-12 rookie-salary scale. Assuming collective bargaining agreement rules don’t change, that would guarantee him $7.22 million in his first two NBA seasons, with his team holding options for a $4 million salary in his third season and $5.07 million in ‘14-15. He would make a total of $16.29 million in his first four seasons, and he would not be eligible to become an unrestricted free agent until the summer of 2016, when he would be 25.
If Rubio plays three seasons for FC Barcelona, by the summer of 2012 he no longer would be bound by the terms of the NBA rookie scale, which apply to first-round picks only for the first three years after which they are drafted.
Rubio then could exercise his buyout (which remains the same in 2012 as it is in 2011: 1 million euros), come to America at age 21 and not be bound by the rookie scale.
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