The injury-riddled Cleveland Cavaliers, missing three of their four true point guards due to injury or other circumstances, need some help. The mechanism they use to help solve this issue may be moving on from veteran playmaker Ricky Rubio.
According to Joe Vardon of The Athletic, the Cavs and Rubio have reportedly discussed parting ways. The move would allow Cleveland to acquire a ready-now player, likely a point guard, to help weather the injury storm. Rubio, who in the summer informed the Cavs of his decision to step away from professional basketball to focus on his mental health and manage a family issue, appears to have no timetable for return to Cleveland. Per The Atheltic, Rubio has not engaged in basketball activities - an indication that even if he were to return to the court, it could be quite a ways away. That, compounded by injuries to Darius Garland and Ty Jerome, has left the Cavs relying on Donovan Mitchell and rookie Craig Porter Jr. to man the spot.
The Cavs signed Rubio to a three-year $18.5 million deal in the summer of 2022 while the Spaniard was rehabbing an ACL tear, banking on him returning to form. Rubio was an integral component of Cleveland’s resurgence as a playoff-caliber team in 2021-22 and is a trusted locker room voice. The Cavs’ front office could buy out Rubio’s contract, waive and stretch his salary over several seasons, or trade him under the pretense that he is likely not appearing on an NBA court this season. Any of those methods would open a roster spot and clear some money, allowing the Cavs to plug a hole on their roster at a critical juncture.
With a difficult roster situation headlined by injuries to so many crucial players, including Evan Mobley, the Cavs have very few options available to them to immediately improve their situation. Moving on from Rubio, whom the front office still values greatly, is a tough proposition to be in. No doubt the Cavs will do their best to do the right thing for Rubio, especially considering his personal situation.