The prospect of veteran Ricky Rubio returning to the Cleveland Cavaliers next season is apparently “highly likely,” according to a new report.
“[Collin] Sexton could be retained in restricted free agency, helping alleviate some of [Darius] Garland’s scoring burden,” Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com wrote. “Caris LeVert should be more acclimated after a full offseason. He vows to be even better. Both players could be viewed as ‘additions.’ The hole at point guard is reserved for a stabilizing veteran — Ricky Rubio, Delon Wright or Tyus Jones, among others. Rubio’s relationship with the organization increases the chances of returning, with one source maintaining that it’s ‘highly likely.'”
Rubio began the 2021-22 season with the Cavaliers before seeing his season come to an end in December after tearing his left ACL. Since he’s on an expiring contract, he was included as part of the trade that helped acquire LeVert from the Indiana Pacers.
During his short time with the Cavs this season, Rubio saw action in 34 games and made eight starts. He averaged 13.1 points, 6.6 assists, 4.1 rebounds and 1.4 steals per game.
His veteran leadership meshed well with the young players on the Cavaliers. That’s presumably a key reason why the front office appears ready to renew acquaintances with the veteran.
Rubio will turn 32 in October and has been in the NBA since the 2011-12 season. He was actually drafted as the fifth overall pick of the 2009 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves, but he then played two seasons of international basketball.
Exactly how much Rubio might be asking for and whether the Cavaliers would be willing to pay that amount remains unknown. However, it seems apparent that the situation on both sides is comfortable enough that an agreement can be worked out during the offseason.
While the Cavaliers are coming off their first winning season since the 2017-18 campaign, the team doesn’t appear to be resting on that accomplishment as it continues to look forward.