Ricky Rubio is coming back to the Cleveland Cavaliers via NBA free agency. The veteran point guard provides a calming presence, plus experience and leadership that the young Cavaliers will definitely benefit from.
A Move That Makes Sense
Last year felt like the first time in a while that it was fun to be a Cavs fan again, and Ricky Rubio played a part in that transformation. The young core of the roster really began to gel and play well together, and the team was on a bit of a run early in the season.
By late December the Cavaliers had a record of 20-13, while going 10-3 to start the final month of the calendar year. At the time, the veteran point guard was averaging 13 points and 6 assists per game, proving he could still produce meaningful NBA minutes.
Unfortunately Rubio would suffer an injury at the end of a game against New Orleans, bringing his season to an end. A few months later Ricky Rubio was traded to the Indiana Pacers as part of the deal that landed Caris LaVert in Cleveland. At the time I recall being disappointed because the impact of losing of Rubio was evident on the court.
Darius Garland was still doing his thing, and others were contributing, but the team chemistry seemed to take a hit. Ball movement slowed down, and the overall “fun and free” style of play that was so successful early in the season seemed to fade away with the loss of Rubio.
Such A Great Trade in Hindsight
As mentioned, I was not thrilled when the Cavs decided to deal Rubio for LaVert. However in hindsight I must admit how genius the move seems now. Obviously it was an upgrade in the moment, and a move to continue making a run last season. Rubio was injured for the remainder of the season, and LaVert was healthy and provided a team with a chance to continue competing. Despite the upside, I was still not happy about losing Ricky Rubio, as I was excited to see what the team looked like once he was healthy again.
Luckily, Cavs fans will still get that opportunity as Rubio returns to Cleveland via free agency.