The Cleveland Cavaliers are coming off a resurgent season in which they just barely missed the NBA playoffs, and they will soon embark on a busy offseason. They need to add a few more pieces either through free agency or the draft with the goal of complementing their core of Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, and Evan Mobley.
However, the Cavs may already know of one move they plan to make.
Cleveland reportedly wants to re-sign point guard Ricky Rubio, who the team traded away before the NBA trade deadline.
The Cavs reportedly want to bring Ricky Rubio back
Ricky Rubio was a key piece to the Cavaliers’ resurgent season. He gave them leadership off the bench and provided the team with a nice scoring punch. The 11th-year veteran tied his career-high in points per game with 13.1 and dished out 6.6 assists. He played in 34 games, and Cleveland started 20-13 through the first 33.
However, Rubio tore his ACL against the New Orleans Pelicans on Dec. 28. He missed the rest of the year, which created a massive hole on the Cavs’ roster. Collin Sexton had already suffered a season-ending injury before Rubio, so Cleveland was significantly thin at guard. Rubio’s absence then played a role in the team going 24-25 the rest of the way and losing in the NBA Play-In Tournament.
Due to the Cavs’ lack of depth along the perimeter, they traded Rubio and his expiring contract at the trade deadline to the Indiana Pacers in a deal for Caris LeVert. It was essentially a financial move, as Rubio’s injury kept him from playing a single game in Indy.
And it now appears he could potentially return to The Land.
According to Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor, a source said the chances of Rubio re-signing with the Cavaliers are “highly likely.” He’s recovering from his injury in Spain and won’t be ready to take the court until November or December (or even later), but the Cavs’ front office potentially wants the fifth overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft back.
So, if Rubio does return, what does that mean for the Cavaliers?
Ricky Rubio would be great for the Cavaliers
The Cavs have a pretty talented team when fully healthy. Darius Garland is a star, and Jarrett Allen has become an All-Star center. Evan Mobley also has the potential to become the best player in the world. Combine those three with Caris LeVert, who is in the last year of his contract, and a healthy Collin Sexton; Cleveland can certainly make some noise.
But it needs depth.
Other than Garland, the Cavaliers don’t have another true point guard. Sexton has played the position in the past, but he’s more of a two. Rubio not only scored when needed last season, but he ran the offense like a captain steers a ship. He helped Cleveland click on all cylinders when Garland was on the bench and allowed the All-Star guard to play off the ball when they shared the court.
Sure, the Cavs will likely make other moves. They have a lottery pick and can look at other free agents. However, Ricky Rubio could be precisely what they need to contend for championships. No, he’s not a superstar, but he’s a superstar in his role, and that’s important when playing for titles.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference