Signed to a rookie extension in October 2014, Rubio has a total of $250,000 in bonuses broken up into three categories: free-throw percentage, free-throw attempts per game and total field goal percentage. With the criteria set at Rubio appearing in at least 62 games, the former first-round pick is in line to reach two out of three bonuses. Rubio earned $150,000 in bonuses last season for free-throw attempts and percentage; this season he will likely earn $75,000 for free-throw percentage but miss out on the bonus for free-throw attempts per game.
The 22-year-old is not worried that the major injury came during a breakout third season in the league, or that it may eventually complicate talks about a possible big-money extension. Instead, LaVine said he is attacking the long, mundane rehab process the same way he attacks the gym for workouts that helped turn him into one of the rising young stars in the league. “Going out here like I’m going to get 500 shots. Instead, I’m doing 500 leg lifts,” LaVine said. “It’s the same difference. Everything’s been positive with me. I’m just focused.”
The hardest part will be avoiding the mental let-downs that can come from such a long, grueling period of time away from the game. Timberwolves joked that he has a simple plan for helping LaVine to feel like he’s a part of the team while he’s out. “Yell at him daily,” Thibodeau deadpanned. “The first time I got back, he almost poked me a little bit and said, ‘I ain’t yelled at you in (a month). Let me get some frustration out,'” LaVine said. “It’s still funny.”
Storyline: Zach LaVine Injury