This past Thursday night, I was sitting back watching the end of the first round of the 2022 NBA Draft. The Cleveland Cavaliers had already used their first-round pick on former Kansas swingman Ochai Agbaji.
Still, as the first round finally wound down, there were multiple players still on the board that could have been major contributors to a Cavalier playoff team next season. In particular a couple of point guards who could have filled a huge need on the depth chart, as the backup point guard. However, the Cavs did not trade back up into the end of the first round, instead waiting until pick 39 to select another big man in Khalifa Diop, who is a draft-and-stash prospect.
The reasoning behind not drafting a backup guard, is simple. Koby Altman and the entire organization is hoping to bring back Ricky Rubio to take the role of the leader on the second unit, or a veteran lead guard, generally, it seems.
Let me ask you something quickly. Would you like to sign a point guard who will be 32 in October, who is coming off a significant injury, and has a career field goal percentage of 39%? I’ll just go ahead and assume no one raised their hand. Well, this could seemingly be a crucial part of the Cavaliers’ plan going into the season, and I for one do not approve of it.
There are a couple of reasons that the Cavs should not be counting on Rubio in 2022-23. He’s an aging veteran, that isn’t a good shooter, and hasn’t been for his entire career. He’s a career 39% shooter from the field, and 33% from three-point range. While his shot-creation and mentoring of Darius Garland were and can be good things, the front office should look at other, less-risky deals.