NBA Rumors: 'Cavs Are Very Much Interested' in Signing Ricky Rubio to Contract

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured Columnist IVJune 26, 2022

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 28: Ricky Rubio #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during the fourth quarter of a NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on December 28, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The New Orleans Pelicans won the game 108 - 104. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)
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The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly "very much interested" in bringing back veteran guard Ricky Rubio in free agency, per Jason Lloyd of The Athletic.

Rubio was traded to the Indiana Pacers last season as a salary-matching contract, along with multiple draft picks, in the deal that netted the Cavs veteran wing Caris LeVert. But now, a reunion may be in the cards.

Rubio is recovering from a torn ACL, so he wouldn't be available to the Cavs until some point midway through the season.

Bringing him back also calls into question what the Cavaliers will do regarding restricted free agent Collin Sexton. The combo guard appeared in just 11 games last season and would have a much different role for the team than the starting spot he occupied during his first three seasons.

Darius Garland is clearly the point guard of the future and the team's brightest star, while LeVert and Isaac Okoro offer the Cavs two viable starting options on the wing. The Cavaliers also regularly went big last year, and Evan Mobley and Jarrett Allen are capable of playing together at the 4 and 5.

So if Sexton does return, he'll be brought back as instant offense off the bench.

Rubio, 31, would be a more clear-cut backup at point guard for Garland. He played well in 34 games for the Cavs last season, largely off the bench, averaging 13.1 points and 6.6 assists per game.

His playmaking, defense and experience make sense for the young Cavs, who have a solid bench of young, up-and-coming stars and veterans like Kevin Love in the locker room. Bringing Rubio back would add more experience to a group that just missed out on the postseason after falling short in the play-in tournament last season.

If the Cavs do sign Rubio and don't retain Sexton, they'll have to address the backup point guard role early in the season until his ACL is recovered. But on a cheaper deal, Rubio is a logical target for the Cavaliers.