The Cavs are hoping for a successful pairing of Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love.
The Cavs have paired together Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love once again after they started their career with one another in Minnesota. Both men were the fifth overall pick in their respective drafts, going to Minnesota in 2008 and 2009 respectively, though Rubio didn’t appear with the Timberwolves until 2011.
The two played just three seasons together before Love was traded to the Cavs in the summer of 2014, while Rubio stayed in Minnesota until the summer of 2017, where he was shipped off to the Jazz. Love remained in Cleveland up and into the 2021-2022 season, while Rubio went to Phoenix in 2019-2020 and back to Minnesota in 2020-2021.
Now both players are at different stages in their careers but are reunited once again. It appears as though Rubio and Love will be the two big options off the bench for the Cavs, something that has those internally very excited. Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto wrote that the Cavs believe the pairing could be successful.
"The Cavs are hoping Kevin Love can thrive playing 20 to 25 minutes off the bench with veteran point guard Ricky Rubio. They have looked good at times in the preseason. They played together in Minnesota from 2011-16. Rubio has the skills and knowledge to be the excellent backup point guard the team needs."
The Cavs don’t have any depth concerns with Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love
The issue with the Cavs isn’t their depth, because they do have talent on the roster, it’s whether or not the “top talent” is in fact that. With Ricky Rubio and Kevin Love being the defacto sixth and seventh man off the bench, the team has veteran leadership and the ability to stretch the court with their playmaking abilities.
Rubio showed in the Olympics just how good he is if given the chance, and while Love isn’t a 20 point and 10 rebound-a-game guy anymore, he can still be a 12 point scorer in 20-25 minutes off the bench. The question is whether he can do it with good efficiency.
Rubio’s defense, passing, and scoring abilities are pretty well known by now and he should be a huge asset for the franchise going forward. The question isn’t about what he can provide Cleveland, that’s obviously, what we need to know is what Love can still offer.
If the two mesh well, then maybe, just maybe the Cavs second unit could be far more dangerous than last season.