The Cleveland Cavaliers might be reunited with a fan favorite in the offseason.
No, not talking about those LeBron rumors.
“The hole at point guard is reserved for a stabilizing veteran — Ricky Rubio, Delon Wright or Tyus Jones, among others. Rubio’s relationship with the organization increases the chances of returning, with one source maintaining that it’s ‘highly likely.”’
It also helps that Rubio wants back in.
Ricky Rubio has told his reps that Cleveland is his perferred destination in 2022 NBA free agency, per sources.
Teams and players can start negotiations on August 6th at 6 PM.
— Tim Larson (@TimLarsonSports) April 23, 2022
If it’s a stabilizing veteran presence that Cleveland wants, Rubio provides it in spades.
The fifth pick in the 2009 draft excelled last season in the Cavs’ system.
His 13.1 points and 6.6 assists helped propel the team to a 20-13 record before he went down with a season-ending ACL injury.
And, his partnership with Darius Garland was gangbusters.
The Cavaliers have had a +16.1 net efficiency when Ricky Rubio and Darius Garland have shared the floor this season.
That is the best of any 2-man lineup to play 500 minutes together.
Rubio averaged 13.1 points this season, tied for the most in a season in his career. https://t.co/NR49dpOCDA
— Matt Williams (@StatsWilliams) December 29, 2021
At the trade deadline, the Cavs flipped Rubio to the Pacers for Caris LeVert.
But Rubio is headed for free agency this offseason and doesn’t likely fit Indy’s rebuilding timeline.
As it stands right now, the Cavs’ roster lacks another true point guard besides Garland.
And don’t it twisted, Garland did his best Chris Paul/Superman impersonation this season, but even the Point God needs a Robin.
Collin Sexton, when healthy, operates more as a two guard.
With Sexton back, Rubio would be an excellent bench option.
Unfortunately, though he probably won’t see the court until November or December (at the earliest) due to his injury.
There is the fact he will be 31 upon his return and coming off an injury that has derailed many a career in the past.
But if Rubio is coming off the bench, it might make the transition easier.
If the Cavs want to make their first non-LeBron playoff appearance since the 1990s, they’ll need a calming presence that can bridge the minutes while the starters get a breather.
From a fan perspective, there’s not much to not love about the move.
He was (and remains) a fan favorite, a hustler and a genuinely happy player whose appreciation of the city was mutual.
While he was initially cold on the move to Cleveland, he reunited with old T-Wolves teammate Kevin Love, and the two both experienced a career rejuvenation.
For Ricky Rubio, the chance to return to The Land would be the perfect next step in an up-and-down career.
Initially drafted by Minnesota, Rubio spent two seasons in Spain before making the leap across the pond.
After playing for a chronically underperforming T-Wolves team for the first half of the 2010s, he was traded to Utah where he finally tasted the postseason, albeit in two very short stints.
He seems to finally have found a home in Cleveland, where he won’t be required to be the “it” guy and can instead excel as a complimentary piece.
Cleveland would sure be lucky to have him.