Veteran point guard Ricky Rubio worked wonders for the Cavaliers before suffering a torn ACL in December, and the Cavs wouldn’t mind having him back.
That much we already knew. We have even heard rumors that the Cavs want Rubio to return. And a new report from Matt More of Action Network added to all that.
Per Moore, there is a “strong belief” the Cavs will attempt to re-sign Rubio as a free agent this summer.
Rubio was traded to the Pacers as part of the deal that landed shooting guard Caris LeVert in January. Obviously, he never played a single second in Indiana. But the Cavs and Pacers needed his salary to make the deal work.
Now, Rubio is an unrestricted free agent, free to sign anywhere. He’s not in a great bargaining position, given his age (32 in October) and the fact he’s coming off knee surgery. He also isn’t expected to be ready to play until January, perhaps at the earliest.
So a big guaranteed deal is highly likely out of the question. With that in mind, why not go someplace where you know you already fit?
It wasn’t just Cavs president of basketball operations Koby Altman and coach J.B. Bickerstaff who loved Rubio, either. He was also admired greatly by his teammates, particularly young guards Darius Garland and Collin Sexton (when healthy).
“Things can get a little wild out there,” Sexton said early in the season. “He has a way of coming in and calming things down.”
Sexton speaks the truth. With Rubio, the Cavs were more of a well-oiled machine. He undoubtedly played a role in the rise of Garland. He kept things moving when the offense got stuck.
That’s not to say Rubio is the answer to a championship — but when you’re talking about a team with a young core on the rise, he fit extremely well. So it makes sense that, yes, the Cavs will want him around when he’s healthy.
In fact, he reportedly was about to get a contract extension from the Cavs before suffering the injury in late December. Before that, he averaged a career-high 13.1 points, with 6.6 assists and 39 percent shooting on 3-pointers.
Granted, there is a lot to consider here when it comes to Rubio. As good as a fit as he was, the dollars will need to make sense for both sides, as is always the case in these scenarios.
If all that can be worked out, then sure, Rubio with the Cavs a second time is a good idea. What’s not to like? It sure worked out the first time.