There's plenty to be proud of when it comes to the Cleveland Cavaliers' solid 15-12 start to the 2023-24 NBA season. While some fans wish that the team was higher in the standings, the Cavs' current occupation of the Eastern Conference's No. 6 seed has them on pace for another postseason appearance.
Still, it's hard not to feel a bit down when thinking of where the Cavaliers could be if Ricky Rubio was on the floor this season. The veteran point guard has spent the campaign in Spain as he works on his mental health issues.
While Rubio must do what's best for himself and his family (as he should), his absence means one of the Cavaliers' 15 roster spots is being wasted — especially if he doesn't plan to return this year. That's why, as NBA insider Shams Charania reports, a breakup could be right around the corner.
Cavaliers Rumors: Ricky Rubio to Be Moved?
On Wednesday, Charania reported that the Cavaliers have "begun discussing a potential parting of ways" with Rubio. The franchise is open to either moving him in a trade or waiving him entirely, leaving time to tell which decision general manager Mike Gansey makes.
Rubio still has two years remaining on the three-year, $18.4 million deal he signed with the Cavaliers back in July 2022. The 33-year-old point guard carries a $6.14 million cap hit for the remainder of the 2023-24 campaign, which jumps up to $6.43 million next season.
If the Cavaliers can move Rubio, chances are they'll use the freed-up funds to address their backcourt depth. The Spanish playmaker was slated to be Cleveland's backup point guard after averaging 5.2 points, 3.5 assists, and 2.1 rebounds across 33 games (2 starts) last season.
While the Cavs were willing to be patient to see if Rubio would return next season, the situation changed the minute that Darius Garland broke his jaw against the Boston Celtics on Dec. 15. With Garland sidelined for "several weeks" and Donovan Mitchell now dealing with an undisclosed illness, it's clear that Cleveland is desperate to add another guard.
If the Cavaliers want to stay in the playoff race, a decision regarding Rubio must be made sooner rather than later. Even if Cleveland stays on track and makes the playoffs, the Cavs are only tied for the 14th-best odds to win the 2023-24 NBA Finals, per FanDuel Sportsbook.
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