6 best moves the Cavaliers made during Koby Altman era

Koby Altman, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images
Koby Altman, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Nick Cammett/Getty Images /
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Cleveland Cavaliers
Ricky Rubio, Cleveland Cavaliers. Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images /

No. 5: Trading Taurean Prince for Ricky Rubio

The Cleveland Cavaliers in 2021 were in desperate need of veteran leadership. Most of the old guard were gone, the Cavs were mostly young and losing tons of games, and Kevin Love was on the team but mostly stuck in his own feels. With the need for a backup point guard also a top priority, the Cleveland front office was able to kill two birds with one stone.

Right at the start of the offseason, the Cavs traded forward Taurean Prince to the Minnesota Timberwolves for veteran point guard Ricky Rubio. Not only was Rubio in his early 30s with plenty of professional experience under his belt, he had a past relationship with Love from their time playing together in Minnesota.

Rubio’s addition worked to solve both issues. He immediately stepped in as a mentor and leader on the team, helping Darius Garland take a leap forward and Love regain his mojo and have his best season in years. On the court he was excellent, not just backing up Garland but demanding minutes alongside him. Rubio had a career year to start to the season…until he tore his ACL and missed the rest of the season.

The Rubio trade was likely a success even if he only played those 34 games for them, but the organization built enough of a connection with Rubio to bring him back in free agency this summer at a reasonable number. While he had a rough year as he returned from the ACL tear, his voice of leadership is still valuable to this team and he should only be better as he fully recovers from his injury.