After waiting for seven years, Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio finally got the chance to show his skills in the NBA Playoffs with the Utah Jazz. Up against 2017 NBA MVP Russell Westbrook, Rubio has so far dominated that matchup as he’s averaging 20.3 points, 8.0 assists and 8.3 rebounds heading into Game 4.

Traded from Minnesota in the offseason, Rubio needed a few months to acclimate with the Jazz’s system and playing alongside dynamic rookie guard Donovan Mitchell [VIDEO] in the same backcourt. The moment he settled in, the playmaker played the best basketball of his NBA career, becoming one of the driving forces behind the Jazz’s qualification in the playoffs.

Rubio’s strong performance during the homestretch – averaging at least 15 points, 6 assists and 4 rebounds between February to April – bumped up his regular-season numbers to a career-high 13.1 points with 5.3 assists and 4.6 rebounds per game. He also set a personal best in field goal shooting percentage (42 percent) and three-point clip (35 percent) in his first year in Utah.

Big decisions ahead for the Jazz

Rubio is still under contract after this season as he’s scheduled to pocket $14.2 million during the 2018-19 season -- the final year of the four-year, $55 million deal he signed with the Wolves in 2015.

However, it’s worth mentioning that the Spanish floor general is eligible for a contract extension this summer. The Jazz’s payroll for the 2017-18 season is projected at $89 million, deducted are the outgoing contracts of Derrick Favors ($12 million), Dante Exum ($4.9 million) and the waived salary of Derrick Rose ($2.1 million).

The most interesting part is the team’s payroll for the next season. In the 2019-2020 season, the Jazz’s total obligation will stand at $51 million. That’s two max-level slots at $25 million per year to spare. Of course, that figure could be greatly affected by the team’s decisions this summer. Exum is hitting restricted free agency, and sources close to the situation are reporting that the Jazz remain open to keep the Aussie guard at a reasonable price.

Extension for Rubio?

The point is there’s an option for the Jazz to try working out a contract extension with Rubio while his market value hasn’t skyrocketed yet. Based on his showing the past few months, the Spaniard might be just starting to realize his full potential since he was selected No. 5 overall in the 2011 NBA Draft.

While his three-point stroke is far from being elite, a consistent mid-range jumper has opened a lot of things for Rubio this season. All of a sudden, he is a legit triple threat that warrants honest defense all the time.

He may never become as offensively gifted as Mitchell, but the grizzled veteran has proven to be a perfect complement to the rookie sensation.

Rubio’s market value once he hits unrestricted free agency could range between $15 million to $20 million. Locking him up this offseason on a team-friendly worth $14 million per year would make sense if the Jazz want to avoid the scenario of paying more cash just to keep their starting point guard. Remember, the last date to renegotiate a new contract is February 28. If no agreement is struck before the deadline, Rubio will then hit unrestricted free agency.

Giving him a contract extension now is going to be a gamble, but a calculated one nevertheless. At 27, Rubio is just entering his prime and – barring a major injury – he seems on his way to more productive seasons with the Jazz.