Ricky Rubio returns to Cavaliers on a three-year, $18 million contract

Ricky Rubio returns to Cavaliers on a three-year, $18 million contract

Ricky Rubio has agreed to sign a three-year, $18 million contract to return to the Cavaliers. Before last season’s trade deadline — along with a 2022 first-round pick, a 2022 second-round pick and a 2027 second-round pick — the guard was traded by the Cavaliers to the Pacers for Caris LeVert and a 2022 second-round pick.

In the 2021-22 NBA regular season, Rubio averaged 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists per game in 34 games played. Plus, he shot 36.3% from the field and 33.9% from downtown. Rubio has not played a full season since the 2013-14 season. The guard turns 32 in October.

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Moreover, Rubio earned $17.8 million last season. This signing is perfect for Cleveland because Rubio helps add depth to the team’s backcourt. Not to mention, it is unknown on whether or not the Cavaliers will be able to re-sign Collin Sexton. The guard played only 11 games of the 2021-22 season. He underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee.

If Cavaliers G.M. Mike Gansey is willing to match any outside offer this offseason, there is a good chance that Sexton will return to Cleveland. Last season, despite missing most of the season, Sexton earned $6,349,671. When he was healthy for the 2020-21 season, the guard led the Cavs in scoring, averaging 24.3 points per game.

The Cavaliers missed Ricky Rubio in the second half of last season

Therefore, Rubio’s return is a good fit. On Nov. 7, 2021, in the Cavs’ 126-109 win over the Knicks, the guard ended his performance with 37 points and 10 assists. And he made eight 3-pointers. Then, on Dec. 13, Rubio posted his 5,000th career assist in the Cavs’ 105-94 win against the Heat.

What are the odds of Darius Garland, Sexton and Rubio all appearing in every game of the 2022-23 season? Well, not so great. One of the partial reasons the Cavs front office decided to trade Rubio in February was due to his ACL injury he sustained December. Coach J.B. Bickerstaff wants reliable players on his roster. Sometimes, quantity is quality.

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Cavaliers made the playoffs for the first time since LeBron James left

Furthermore, Rubio felt disappointed after hearing the news that he was traded to the Pacers. The fans were saddened, too. The Cavaliers started off strong in the 2021-22 season. In the end, they finished 44-38 (.537), and the team ranked eighth overall in the Eastern Conference.

It was their first winning season since LeBron James signed with the Lakers. They had a chance to make the playoffs in the play-in tournament, but the team lost to the Nets and Hawks. The Cavs sure could have used Ricky Rubio and Collin Sexton.

Cleveland will be a better team next season with Sexton, Garland and Rubio as Bickerstaff’s options. Though, it would certainly help down the stretch if these three players could remain healthy. All it takes is one major injury to negatively impact a team’s season.

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