Cavs’ Koby Altman: ‘Ricky Rubio embodied everything a franchise would want’

The Cavaliers have officially announced their contract buyout agreement with point guard Ricky Rubio, who’s been away from the team since before the season. Rubio is expected to retire from the NBA.Ricky Rubio

“Ricky Rubio embodied everything a franchise would want from such an accomplished player, who helped instill a confidence and leadership quality that still resonates within our team,” Cavs president of basketball operations Koby Altman said in a prepared statement.

“When you measure his impact, particularly during the 2021-22 season, Ricky was instrumental in our 22-win improvement that year. His willingness to mentor our younger players speaks to the gravity of his tenure in Cleveland and the success we are having with this current Cavaliers group. We wish Ricky nothing but the best and remain supportive of his decision to continue focusing on his mental health.”

Rubio, 33, returned to the Cavs as a free agent before the start of the 2022-23 season. The team traded him the year before that, to the Indiana Pacers in a deal that brought guard Caris LeVert to Cleveland. 

Rubio suffered a torn ACL in December 2021 while with the Cavs. He highlighted the organization in announcing his retirement. 

“My last home,” Rubio wrote of Cleveland. “I know the way things ended have been tough. I could never have imagined the year would develop this way, but you have an amazing organization, with Koby and (coach JB Bickerstaff), who have been extremely respectful and understanding of my situation and caring for me as a person.”

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