With the free agency portion of the NBA offseason approaching, the Cleveland Cavaliers are focusing on two main areas of need: the wing position, and adding a veteran point guard.
Last summer, in an attempt to address the latter need, they traded Taurean prince and a future second-round draft pick to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Ricky Rubio.
Unfortunately, in late December, Rubio tore his ACL, and the Cavs shipped him to the Indiana Pacers several weeks later in the Caris LeVert deal.
Ricky Rubio was helped off the court after suffering an apparent injury on this play. pic.twitter.com/QuNciWZB2y
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 29, 2021
But there appears to be a chance that Rubio, who will be a free agent next month, will be returning to The Land, according to actionnetwork.com.
“There’s a strong belief that the Cavaliers will seek to re-sign injured guard Ricky Rubio after Rubio suffered an ACL tear midseason in the Cavs’ surprising play-in run,” wrote Matt Moore.
Cleveland Needs Some More Experience
The Cavs were perhaps the most pleasant surprise in the NBA this season.
Expected to finish with a win total somewhere in the mid-20s, they shot up all the way to a 44-38 record, and they came minutes away from winning the play-in tournament and claiming the eighth seed in the Eastern Conference.
But Cleveland is one of the league’s youngest teams, and in order to make sure it reaches the playoffs next year, it will need to add some veterans who have experience under their belts.
Although starting point guard Darius Garland is a rising star, the team can make life easier for him by acquiring another point guard who can come off the bench and help him run the team.
Young teams simply don’t win in the NBA, and the truth is that a squad needs a mix of youth and experience in order to become its best self.
Is Rubio The Best Option?
In 34 contests with the Cavs this season, Rubio averaged 6.6 assists in 28.5 minutes against just 2.6 turnovers a game.
However, he has a big hole in his game, and it is one that has always existed.
Rubio shot just 36.3 percent from the field and 33.9 percent from 3-point range during his time in Cleveland, and his career 38.9 overall shooting percentage hardly inspires any hope that he will improve his marksmanship.
The Cavs need more accurate 3-point shooters, as they had only three main rotation players who made more than 36 percent of their attempts from beyond the arc this season.
Bringing Rubio back and depending on him to be the team’s secondary ballhandler and floor general could be problematic, especially if and when the team gets to the postseason and opponents put in more preparation time.
But with extensions due to Garland and Collin Sexton, they may lack the financial resources to go out and sign a backup point guard who is more gifted than Rubio.
Still, he did have some highlights this year, such as his career night at Madison Square Garden.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) November 8, 2021
Just after Rubio got injured, Cleveland traded for another veteran point guard in Rajon Rondo, who put up respectable numbers in his time with the team.
However, after a domestic dispute incident in which Rondo allegedly pulled a gun on the mother of his children, it is understandable if the Cavs won’t have any interest in bringing him back.