Following the departure of Larry Nance Jr. and another fan favorite in Matthew Dellavedova, the Cavaliers were left with a desperate need for more adults in the locker room, and it doesn’t get much better than having veteran Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio.
The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup MVP joins the Cavs via a trade from Minnesota, where he averaged one of his least productive seasons statistically. He did recently had a breakout 38-point outing in a losing effort against Team USA at the Summer Olympics in Tokyo, proving he has not lost a step.
Despite only being 30 years of age, Rubio is a very able veteran leader both on and off the floor. But more than the veteran savvy, his biggest impact will probably be guiding the team’s young backcourt of Darius Garland and Collin Sexton.
While admittedly not being in an ideal situation to compete as part of a contending team, Rubio relishes the opportunity to help lead the Cavs’ young players to reach another level—a la Donovan Mitchell in Utah or Devin Booker in Phoenix. It is no coincidence that he also had some of his best performing seasons alongside those two.
Now it remains to be seen whether Rubio will be around past the trade deadline, but it would greatly benefit the young roster if he does finish the season in Cleveland.