The Cleveland Cavaliers could be on the hunt for an upgrade in the backcourt this coming offseason.
Several names have cropped up, including former Cavs guard Ricky Rubio. But, if the path to a Rubio reunion comes to a dead end, there are reportedly other veterans that are “worth watching,” according to Cleveland sports insider Evan Dammarell.
“Other than that, the Cavaliers can play around with veteran minimum deals to round out their roster as well,” Dammarell wrote. “According to sources, that’s a realistic path where Ricky Rubio could reunite with Cleveland. If not there, names worth watching include Avery Bradley, Raul Neto and Elfrid Payton as well. Clearly, there are plenty of options in free agency this year for Cleveland – they just have to get creative with it.”
Getting back Rubio would certainly intrigue numerous Cavs fans. After all, the Spanish basketball player became a crowd favorite in Cleveland during his brief time with the team.
The Cavs acquired the veteran point guard from the Minnesota Timberwolves in the 2021 offseason. He made an impact as soon as the 2021-22 season started, recording a double-double in his first two games in a Cleveland uniform.
After Collin Sexton went down with a season-ending injury in early November, Rubio was given a more significant role with the team. He delivered in a big way as he helped the Cavs win 20 of their first 34 games.
Unfortunately, Rubio suffered a season-ending injury of his own, tearing his left ACL in late December. At the time of his injury, the 31-year-old was averaging 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists per contest.
If he is unavailable for the Cavs in the next months, the organization could look for other options like Bradley and Payton.
Bradley played for the Los Angeles Lakers in the 2021-22 campaign. The defensive-minded combo guard appeared in 62 games for the Purple and Gold, recording averages of 6.4 points and 2.2 rebounds per match.
As for Payton, he has showcased his playmaking abilities throughout his NBA career. However, his stint with the Phoenix Suns this season did not go as planned. He played in a career-low 11.0 minutes per game, posting averages of 3.0 points and 2.0 assists per contest.