Ricky Rubio is coming back to Cleveland.
As first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Rubio is coming back to the Cavs on a new deal.
Free agent guard Ricky Rubio is nearing a deal on a return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, sources tell ESPN.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2022
As Yahoo!’s Chris Haynes and others have reported, Rubio’s deal is three-year deal worth $18.4 million in total. Per two league sources, the last year of the deal is partially guaranteed.
Yahoo Sources: Ricky Rubio and Cleveland come to terms on a three-year, $18.4 deal. https://t.co/cTdYr8fNgJ— Chris Haynes (@ChrisBHaynes) July 1, 2022
This deal uses part of the Cavs’ non-taxpayer mid-level exception, which is worth $10.4 million this offseason. Split over three years, the deal is about $6.13 million annually for Rubio. It also leaves the Cavs about $4.3 million left in their MLE to use on another free agent if they so choose.
Rubio, 31, came to the Cavs last offseason in a deal with the Minnesota Timberwolves. He was fantastic for Cleveland, providing stout guard play before tearing his ACL on December 28 in New Orleans. He was then traded on Feb. 6 to the Indiana Pacers in the deal that brought Caris LeVert to Cleveland. For the year, Rubio averaged 13.1 points and 6.6 assists per game.
When Rubio will be able to play next season is unclear. His ACL tear was his second tear in that knee. It would make sense to take it slow with Rubio and bring him back only when he’s ready. He’s a player that can still help the Cavs in the locker room and the team would rather have later in the season for a playoff push than early in the season.
With Rubio signed, the Cavs have 13 players under contract for next season. That number would jump to 14 if/when Collin Sexton signs a new deal.