Near the end of the 2022 NBA free agency period, the Cleveland Cavaliers decided to sign both big man Robin Lopez, as well as guard Raul Neto, both on minimum contracts. Both of these deals weren’t necessarily ground-breaking and didn’t cause any storms to stir. When the signings happened, it was obvious that these players were just going to play on certain occasions.
Looking at the latter signing, Raul Neto was a solid player for the Cavs last season. Yes, he didn’t play a ton of games for Cleveland, but for a veteran minimum contract, no one really expected him to get a ton of minutes. He was the third-string point guard for most of the season, but was the primary backup point guard when Ricky Rubio was recovering from his torn ACL.
Raul Neto was a helpful player last season
Neto was the 47th overall pick in the 2013 NBA Draft and had a decently long career as a journeyman. He played a total of 435 regular season games in the NBA, playing for the Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Wizards, and the Cleveland Cavaliers. Just recently, though, Neto signed with Fenerbahçe Beko, a team in Turkey, until the 2024-25 season.
In 48 games for the Cleveland Cavaliers last season, Neto averaged 3.3 points, 1.0 rebounds, and 1.6 assists per game. Per-36 minutes, that equates out to 11.2 points, 3.3 rebounds, and 5.6 assists. Neto only averaged 10.5 minutes per game, which was the fifth-lowest average on the team.
Neto actually started one game for the Cavs last season. Neto put up 14 points, eight assists, four steals, and only one turnover against the Detroit Pistons on February 8th. Both Donovan Mitchell and Darius Garland missed this game, but the Cavaliers still won 113-85. Ricky Rubio was in the game that night, but he still was a bit rocky from his injury, as he only returned back to action only a month prior. Yes, the Pistons were the worst NBA team last season, but even so, Neto played a phenomenal game considering his expectations and showed that he’s still a great NBA player.
Even though his minutes were limited, he was still a helpful contributor to the team, and was a great veteran presence in the locker room, especially after Kevin Love was bought out. His hustle and energy off of the Cavs’ bench was infectious and was a factor in why the Cavs’ whole team had a lot of “dog” in them last season. He gave every defensive possession a ton of focus, and was a great playmaker, too.
Raul Neto was a great signing for the Cleveland Cavaliers last offseason, and even though he did not play a ton of minutes overall, he still had an impact on the team.
As of now, Neto will be playing overseas for the foreseeable future. Good luck, Raul Neto, with the next part of your basketball career.