Cavs Could Move Ricky Rubio, Collin Sexton For Immediate Help

The Cavaliers are seemingly exploring the market for more help in the backcourt, and per Shams Charania of The Athletic, the idea of building a deal around Ricky Rubio isn’t out of the question.Ricky Rubio

Rubio suffered a season-ending knee injury a couple weeks ago, but is on an expiring contract. So if the Cavs were to trade Rubio, they wouldn’t be trading Rubio the player. They’d be trading Rubio, the contract.

Rubio was mostly fantastic in his first season with the Cavs, and the possibility remains that the sides will partner up again next season.

But the Cavs have a lot to consider here. Rubio will be 32 years old and coming off knee surgery to start next season. He is also an unrestricted free agent this summer.

So could he be the same player? And what type of money would he want? Those are fair questions when you’re the Cavs, and your focus is on the young core such as Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley, Lauri Markkanen and the also-injured Collin Sexton.

Interestingly, one rival executive told Hoops Wire he views a Sexton trade to be more likely than a Rubio trade. Sexton has drawn strong interest from the Pacers, and the Cavs continue to express interest in available Pacers guard Caris LeVert. So that will be something to keep an eye on, with the Feb. 10 trade deadline less than a month away.

For what it’s worth, Sexton will be a free agent at the end of the season. Hoops Wire has learned the Cavs are focused on the team on the court, for the timer being, and haven’t reached any sort of firm decision on Sexton’s future with the franchise. For now, they intend to keep him.

Back to Rubio. He is earning $17.8 million this season. So if he does return to the Cavs, he’ll be taking a pay cut. 

And while that contract is large, it is also extremely valued around the NBA. Expiring contracts have become some of the league’s most valuable trade chips. Charania suggested the Cavs could form a pretty good deal around Rubio’s contract and “draft assets.”

If the Cavs (23-18) were to do something along those lines, it would be for a player who could both help them win now … and in the future. The Pacers, for instance, are looking for more picks. So are the Kings and the Trail Blazers.

That leads to the Cavs being linked to the likes of LeVert, Kings shooting guard Buddy Hield and several others, including 76ers star Ben Simmons. (It doesn’t seem, however, that the Cavs are in on Simmons anymore, unless to act as a third team in a trade.)

For now, though, don’t expect Cavs general manager Koby Altman to make any sort of big splash. Things are going well, and Altman has no plans to mess with the Cavs’ surprising success.

But the Cavs also need another reliable backcourt scorer this season, and they will be highly active on the market in search of one.

If they can find the right fit, for both now and the future, Rubio and Sexton could be moved. That’s just the way it goes in this business of basketball.

For more on the Cavs, check out my latest Dribbles right here.

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  1. Hi Sam,

    Here is my hitlist of potential players to help us with scoring and should be realistically available:

    Gary Harris
    Terrence Ross
    Mose Moody** (i would give up a protected 1st rounder for him or Kuminga) GS has a lot of talent that won’t see much court time with Klay back.
    Jordan Poole
    Otto Porter, Jr.
    TJ Warren ? not sure of his status.
    Buddy Hield
    Longshot-Harrison Barnes
    Longshot – CJ McCollum – Portland has to do something and I hear he will be obtainable.

  2. Loving this young team, but the next step in the ascension is to get someone other than Garland who can create their own shot off of the dribble, especially in 4th quarter crunch time. Mobley will eventually be able to do that, but not yet.

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