The injury-plagued Cleveland Cavaliers, currently missing several key players, are exploring the possibility of parting ways with veteran playmaker Ricky Rubio. The team, grappling with the absence of three out of four true point guards due to injuries or other reasons, is considering this move to acquire a ready-now player, likely in the point guard position, to address their immediate needs.
According to reports from The Athletic, the Cavaliers and Rubio have engaged in discussions about a potential separation. Rubio, who previously informed the team about stepping away from professional basketball to focus on mental health and a family issue, currently has no specified return timeline to Cleveland. The absence of any engagement in basketball activities suggests that even if he were to return to the court, it might be a considerable amount of time away.
The Cavaliers signed Rubio to a three-year, $18.5 million deal in the summer of 2022 while he was rehabilitating from an ACL tear. The team was banking on his return to form, considering his significant contribution to Cleveland’s resurgence as a playoff-caliber team in the 2021-22 season. Rubio is not only valued for his on-court performance but also for his role as a trusted voice in the locker room.
With injuries impacting key players like Darius Garland and Ty Jerome, the Cavaliers have found themselves relying on Donovan Mitchell and rookie Craig Porter Jr. to fill the void at the point guard position. The team is facing a critical juncture and may explore options such as buying out Rubio’s contract, waiving and stretching his salary over multiple seasons, or trading him with the understanding that he may not see NBA court action this season. Any of these approaches would provide roster flexibility and financial relief to address immediate needs.
Given the challenging roster situation and the need for immediate improvements, the decision to potentially part ways with Rubio, a player highly valued by the front office, poses a difficult choice for the Cavaliers. The team is likely to prioritize doing what is best for Rubio, taking into consideration both his professional and personal situation.