Many speculated for weeks that the team would bring back Ricky Rubio, a veteran guard it had first acquired last summer, then traded away in the middle of the season.
On Friday, the Cavs brought him back after all, getting him to agree to a three-year deal.
Ricky Rubio has agreed to a 3-year, $18.4 million deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers, per @ChrisBHaynes.
This will be Rubio's second stint with the Cavs. pic.twitter.com/DszGnr0LNy
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) July 1, 2022
Rubio may not be the perfect choice for Cleveland, as he has always had a couple of flaws as a player, but his return is the right move for a few reasons.
Rubio Is A Solid Playmaker
Yes, Rubio is and has always been a terrible shooter, as he has career shooting percentages of 38.9 percent overall and 32.6 percent from 3-point range.
But that is not why the Cavs are bringing him back into the fold.
Rubio has always had a pretty steady hand as a point guard and a floor general – he has averaged 7.6 assists per contest for his career, including 6.6 assists a game this season.
It isn’t often that a team gets the enjoy the services of a backup point guard who regularly posts a career average north of five a game.
Even better, Rubio doesn’t turn the ball over that often.
He has a lifetime average of 2.6 turnovers a game, which gives him an outstanding assist-to-turnover ratio of nearly three to one.
Rubio may not be an outstanding defender, but he can be a pickpocket, as he has put up 1.8 steals a game over his 11 NBA seasons.
He gets to the free throw line every now and then, and when he does, he’s almost automatic with a lifetime accuracy of 84.3 percent from the charity stripe.
But even better, the fact that he spent a portion of this past season with the Cavs means the team won’t really have to build chemistry with him, because it already did so.
On Ricky Rubio to Cleveland, had heard from several people that the veteran point guard was an integral locker room catalyst for the Cavs’ hot 2021-22 start, but especially in benefitting Kevin Love’s resurgence into a 6MOY candidate. Cleveland really wanted Rubio back in town.
— Jake Fischer (@JakeLFischer) July 1, 2022
The Cavs Did Not Lose Anything In The Process
Last August, Cleveland sent Taurean Prince, a marginal 3-and-D role player, and a second-round pick in this year’s draft to the Minnesota Timberwolves for Rubio.
It was a rather low price to give up for a reliable, experienced and able backup point guard such as Rubio.
Alas, he suffered an ACL injury in December, and soon afterward, the Cavs sent him packing, along with a first-round pick in the 2022 draft and two future second-round picks, to the Indiana pacers for Caris LeVert and a second-round pick in 2022.
As it turned out, the first-round pick in this year’s draft the Cavs included was conditional and did not convey, and instead, they used it to take Ochai Agbaji, an athletic, potential-laden 6-foot-6 wing.
LeVert is still a member of the Cavs as well, which means that, as of now, it was as if they never traded him and instead simply given up a couple of future picks for LeVert.
Overall, this is a win-win for Cleveland.