According to league sources, the Cleveland Cavaliers have signed veteran free agent point guard Raul Neto to a one-year, veteran minimum contract. The news about the Neto signing was first broken by The Athletic’s Shams Charania.
In his seven seasons with the NBA, seeing stops with the Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers and most recently the Washington Wizards, Neto has career averages of 6.0 points, 1.6 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game. The Brazilian guard also has a career assist percentage of 19.6%, meaning nearly one-fifth of the time Neto created an assist on a possession. Last season with the Wizards Neto averaged 7.5 points and 3.1 assists in 19.6 minutes per game to go with an assist percentage of 22.9%.
In short, the Cavaliers getting Neto is pretty neat-o considering that Ricky Rubio, who they have penciled in as Darius Garland’s long-term backup, still needs time to rehab from his torn ACL surgery. There’s no firm timeline or estimate of when Rubio will be back to the floor quite yet for Cleveland. But, it feels somewhat safe to assume it may not be until the start of 2023 at the earliest at this point.
That makes the Neto signing even more important for the Cavaliers. Cleveland needs a proper backup to spell Garland at times and run the bench unit all while Rubio recovers. They’ve found that in Neto, who can be a quality “break glass in case of emergency” kind of point guard for the Cavaliers. He’ll do all the right things while on the floor all while trying to not overcompensate for things as well. Considering how the Kevin Pangos experiment went, this is a definite upgrade.