If it had gone Kevin Martin's way, this union would've been established four years ago.

But Sacramento went with Tyreke Evans with the 2009 NBA Draft's fourth overall pick -- one spot ahead of the Timberwolves, which took international sensation Ricky Rubio at No. 5. Then a senior member of a Kings franchise trying to get its house in order, Martin implored front-office general Geoff Petrie that summer to snag Rubio and his zany setup abilities.

"I thought it was gonna be the backcourt of the future for the Sacramento Kings, me and Ricky, but they decided to go in a different direction," Martin said. "Here we are today."

Here is Minnesota. And today, for the most part, has been worth the wait.

For the first time in his young career, Rubio shares the backcourt with a bona fide, proven scoring threat. Martin, in turn, benefits from an expanded starter's role after spending last year as Oklahoma City's sixth man.

If there's such a thing as a shooting guard's dream, it's Rubio -- unselfish, pass-first and happy to reward a wing player's efforts to get open.

"I don't like playing with Ricky," Martin cracked through a mouthful of sarcasm recently. "No, he's great. … Fun guy to play with."

Entering Monday night's game at Boston, Martin is scoring 20.6 points per game, making 40.8 percent of his 3-point attempts and shooting 92.8 percent from the foul stripe -- even after struggling mightily and nursing what has appeared to be a sore knee the past three games. Rubio, meanwhile, ranks fourth among NBA players with 8.2 assists per game and has opened up the scoring part of his offensive game, notching 12.6 points a night during his last eight outings.

Those metrics are a product of several factors. But one big reason is how well the two guards complement each other.

"They're working well together," coach Rick Adelman said.

A 17.9-points-per-game scorer for his career, Martin has worked with good point guards before, including Mike Bibby, Goran Dragic and Russell Westbrook. But there's a certain element of enjoyment and effectiveness that comes with playing alongside Rubio, whose assists generate 19.3 points per game.