Could Ricky Rubio Return To Cavs Next Season?

The Cavaliers haven’t been the same since Ricky Rubio went down with an ACL tear in late December.Ricky Rubio

The ball hasn’t moved as well, the offense hasn’t flowed, the second unit has been sort of stagnant. Actually, the same goes for the starters. Rubio has having one of his two or three best seasons with his new team. Some might even say his very best, as he averaged a career-high 13.1 points to go with 6.6 assists.

With Rubio, the Cavs were always getting good looks. He served as a mentor to both Darius Garland and Collin Sexton (when healthy), serving as an extension of coach J.B. Bickerstaff on the court.

But the Cavs still wanted to make a run at the playoffs after Rubio went down, and with Rubio out of action and entering free agency, they had little choice but to use his expiring contract as part of a deal to try to keep a good thing going.

So Rubio was sent to the Pacers as part of the deal for Caris LeVert. Again, Rubio will be available after the season. Without question, the Cavs will be among the teams that have Rubio on the radar.

This was something that Chris Fedor of wrote about: The idea of Rubio back with the Cavs.

“A return to Cleveland depends on several factors,” Fedor wrote. “It’s too soon to say one way or another. But Rubio enjoyed his time in Cleveland and his good buddy — Jose Calderon — is in the front office.”

Calderon is a retired longtime NBA point guard himself. He even had a stint with the Cavs as a player. He and Rubio spent plenty of time together on the Spanish national team. But it’s more than just Rubio. President of basketball operations Koby Altman and the rest of the front office and coaching staff are really fans of Rubio, too.

“The Cavs like Rubio just as much, if not more,” Fedor wrote. “They never doubted his importance. But if there was ever a question, the team’s regression answers that — emphatically. Rubio went down in late December, prompting the Cavs to put him in the LeVert deal, using that expiring contract as a trade chip. They haven’t been the same team since the injury.”

Keep in mind Rubio will be 32-years old in October and is coming off major knee surgery. He may never be the same. He may not even be ready to take the court for another six months, or more. But the Cavs may be willing to take that chance, given what Rubio brought during his first stint. He could come at the right price, given everything.

“There’s a reason why Rubio was their first official addition this past summer,” Fedor wrote, hitting the hoops nail on the head. “His vision, floor-generalship, calming presence, playmaking, defense and leadership are greatly missed. If they can’t find a viable replacement in free agency this offseason, a reunion would be logical.”

With three games left, and the play-in tournament, the Cavs have plenty of other things to focus on at the moment. For starters, they are hopeful Jarrett Allen (finger) and Evan Mobley (ankle) can return very soon. They will also need to figure out what to do about Sexton, a restricted free agent this summer.

So if Rubio isn’t at the forefront of their minds, well, that would make sense. But he may be in the back of their minds, and that too is understandable. If there’s one thing we can say for sure, it’s that they haven’t been the same without him.

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    & Yes, to the dribbles – the Officiating has STUNK for awhile now ! It’s almost to the point I’ll stop watching… there MUST BE FAIRNESS or its not a REAL GAME !
    Makes you wonder if there’s payola AGAIN ! Hope not.

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