Cleveland Cavaliers: Was trading for Ricky Rubio a good deal?

Then-Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio handles the ball. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Then-Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio handles the ball. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) /

The Cleveland Cavaliers made one of the first moves of 2021 NBA Draft night.

The Cavs reportedly acquiried Ricky Rubio from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for a 2022 second-round pick via the Washington Wizards and cash considerations, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Wojnarowski seemingly just had a typo involving the pick/cash, and Chris Fedor of clarified in a report.

This might not be the first move Cleveland makes tonight, but, they are starting off on the right foot.

Although trading for Rubio makes the guard rotation even more complex, he will benefit the team greatly.

Trading for Rubio was a good deal for the Cavs.

Last season, the Cavaliers were one of the worst teams in the league when it came to playmaking and sharing the ball. They finished ranked 20th in the league in assists per game with 23.8.

Rubio will be a big help to this problem if he sees the floor enough to make a difference; he should take burden off of Darius Garland, though.

Shockingly, Rubio ranks 76th in all time assists. He has had a long and successful career being a playmaker and creating for others.

It should not be a shock to Cavs fans if he concludes the 2021-2022 season as the teams’ leader in the stat. However, it should also be a challenge to players like Darius Garland to best Rubio in assists.

The second major way that Rubio will impact this team is as a leader both on and off of the court.

The Cavs are one of the youngest teams in the league and will seemingly likely be trading their former leader Kevin Love or perhaps the two sides could end up conducting a buyout, which has been a rumored possible scenario.

With that much youth and inexperience on the team, things can go from bad to worse if there is a lack of leadership in the locker room.

Rubio can remedy that issue. Although he will by no means be the best player on the roster, he can be a leader and someone that the younger guards go to for advice, as Matthew Dellavedova previously was for Garland and Collin Sexton.

On the court, Rubio could bring a lot of good to Cleveland’s guards in the form of mentoring them, too, though.

It is likely that he will not be on the team for long/beyond next season, so Cleveland can not depend on him to fix their playmaking problem for an extended amount of time.

That said, if he is able to rub off on Garland or Collin Sexton (if he sticks around) and transform them into more complete guards, this trade will do more than pay for itself.

Lastly, it was reasonable for the Cavaliers to include that 2022 Wizards second in this trade, to go with salary matching in Prince, generally.

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That 2 could be a viable player for Minnesota in the near future, but it’s tough to say, and Rubio could be a very valuable player for the Cavs; we’ll have to see on Prince for Minnesota.