Ricky Rubio may be on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ radar for 2022 after all.
To be clear, this is not a guarantee, just speculation on behalf of Cleveland.com’s Chris Fedor. As it stands though, the vibe that’s being put out there is that the Cavs may be in the hunt to bring back Ricky Rubio for next season and that’s great news.
The bad news is that it’s still going to be hard to get him. The Cavs are way over the cap and the only way they can land Rubio is with a mid-level exception. Considering he’s not likely back until November or so due to his torn ACL, it’s very likely that is a possible outcome all things considered.
Rubio may be open to a “prove it” type of deal with the Cavs, where he comes in and shows what he can still do before getting a bigger deal the following offseason. The Cavs can give Rubio a four-year deal at best, but he’d be locked in on a pretty light deal. So if Rubio wants one last big payday, he may just take a one-year deal.
That would mean that the Cavs wouldn’t be able to re-sign him after, unless it’s a sign-and-trade situation, as Rubio no longer has his Bird Rights; which allows teams to go over the cap to sign a guy.
The return of Rubio is purely speculation, however, but it’s one that makes sense if you read Fedor’s recent column;
"A return to Cleveland depends on several factors. It’s too soon to say one way or another. But Rubio enjoyed his time in Cleveland and his good buddy — Jose Calderon — is in the front office. The Cavs like Rubio just as much, if not more. They never doubted his importance. But if there was ever a question, the team’s regression answers that — emphatically. Rubio went down in late December, prompting the Cavs to put him in the LeVert deal, using that expiring contract as a trade chip. They haven’t been the same team since the injury."
The Cleveland Cavaliers fell apart without Ricky Rubio
Rubio’s injury really deflated the Cavs. He worked seamlessly with whoever he was on the court with. Whether he played off the ball with Darius Garland or on the ball with the likes of Cedi Osman and Kevin Love.
He was effortless and put up some of his best career figures. He tied for his career-best in points per game, shot his best from three-point, and had his second-best defensive season since 2014-2015 according to FiveThirtyEight’s RAPTOR score.
The Cavs would be wise to bring back Rubio assuming there is mutual interest but if there isn’t, the Cavs will need to make some moves to secure them going forward into next season.