NBA trade season is upon us, and with it comes a maelstrom of rumors and speculation. Will this star player be made available? Can that team magic the perfect role player out of thin air? Teams are dreaming of the ideal trade targets while also being sure to set the price high on their own players.
The Cleveland Cavaliers will almost certainly be one of those teams wading into the trade waters. Whether that's because they're trying to shore up the rotation while missing Darius Garland and Evan Mobley for the next month or two, or a long-term upgrade when they're at full strength, or even considering a bigger move.
If the Cavaliers are to make a trade, that almost certainly involves sending out players to receive others back. Which members of the Cavs' roster could be on the move? Let's identify five Cavaliers who are least likely to last the season in Cleveland.
No. 5: Ricky Rubio
In a sense, Rubio won't last the season in Cleveland because he appears increasingly unlikely to ever step foot in Cleveland this year. Rubio, expected to be the Cavs' backup point guard this year, stepped away from basketball over the summer to focus on his mental health. While the team has been btoh udnerstanding and outwardly supportive of Rubio's decision, the lack of a reliable backup point guard as the Cavs have had multiple injuries at the position has been less than ideal.
That makes Rubio an obvious choice as a means of matching salary in a trade. The Cavaliers can either send Rubio's contract and draft capital to a team for a low-cost rotation player (Rubio makes $6.1 million this season) or coimbine him with other salaries to make a larger swing. If the Cavs could get Rubio back for the rotation that may change the calculus, but as things stand he appears to be a prime candidate to be moved.