Report: Cavs remain ‘very much interested’ in bringing back Ricky Rubio

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Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

A new report suggests that the prospect of the Cleveland Cavaliers reuniting with veteran guard Ricky Rubio is a distinct possibility.

Jason Lloyd of The Athletic looked at different post-draft scenarios for the Cavs, noting that a potential Rubio return to Cleveland, which has been hinted at before, remains on the table.

“One member of the organization said the Cavs had chances to move into the late first round if they desired, but any player selected there comes with a guaranteed contract,” Lloyd wrote. “The Cavs are very much interested in bringing back Ricky Rubio, whose expiring contract was used as matching salary in the [Caris] LeVert trade. If they do, it would give them 14 guaranteed contracts. They didn’t want to add any others at this stage.”

The 31-year-old Rubio has been in the NBA since 2011 after being selected as the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft. Over the course of his career, he has been a productive player.

The Cavaliers only had him on the floor for 34 games during the 2021-22 season before he suffered a season-ending injury. Since he wasn’t going to be healthy again until after the expiration of his contract, the Cavaliers traded him away in the deal for LeVert.

Rubio appeared to blend in well with many of his younger teammates during his short stint with the Cavs. Bringing him back at a reasonable price for Cleveland would allow him to offer some seasoned wisdom to those players.

Among the other talents that Rubio would bring back to the Cavaliers are his defensive skills, including a career average of 1.8 steals per game. That average has dipped a bit in recent years, but it would still provide the Cavs with a nice boost.

Rubio may choose to go elsewhere depending on what other teams are willing to offer him during free agency. That may end up pricing the Cavaliers out, but at this stage of his career, Rubio may also be looking for more than just money.

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Brad Sullivan is a lead writer for Cavaliers Nation. He has spent much of life in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and has remained a Cavalier fan from their 1970 beginnings through the return of LeBron James. While that fandom was sorely tested during the Reign of Error known simply by one word, Stepien, that overall historical perspective will be part of his writing for Cavaliers Nation in the months ahead.