Cavs Notes: Rubio, Mitchell, Okoro, Allen, Mobley

The Cavaliers still haven’t set a return timeline for veteran point guard Ricky Rubio, who is making his way back from ACL surgery, but he’s “continuing to take steps,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said on Monday, per Chris Fedor of

“He has a doctor’s appointment coming up soon to see how everything is healing and where he is at from that standpoint,” Bickerstaff said of Rubio.

As Fedor outlines, if Rubio gets the green light from the team’s medical staff, he’ll begin to ramp up his activity. For now, he’s limited to one-on-one work, but he could progress to three-on-three and then five-on-five in the coming weeks, assuming he gets the go-ahead to move forward.

Sources tell Fedor that the Cavs have no intention of rushing Rubio back, and that they recognize there’s a significant difference between being in workout shape and game shape.

“Everything is progressing well,” Bickerstaff said. “Just a matter of proper healing and time before he comes back and plays.”

Here’s more out of Cleveland:

  • Bickerstaff has been impressed by how quickly Donovan Mitchell has become one of the locker room leaders in Cleveland after being acquired in an offseason trade, writes Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports. “One of the things that has impressed me most is, Donovan doesn’t want to be different from his teammates. Donovan wants to be a part of it,” Bickerstaff said. “And because he’s embraced that mentality, like the guys see him as their peer, right, and it’s easy for him to say things because he’s not on the outside looking in with the group.”
  • Isaac Okoro has taken a step backward offensively in his third NBA season, averaging just 4.0 PPG on .375/.188/.821 shooting in 19.3 minutes per game. Still, the Cavs aren’t giving up on 2020’s No. 5 overall pick, according to Fedor at (subscriber link), who writes that the team has continued to reaffirm its belief in Okoro’s potential.
  • While traditional centers aren’t as valued by NBA teams as they once were, versatile big men who can defend multiple positions are still as important as ever, Tim MacMahon of ESPN writes in a look at Cleveland’s duo of Jarrett Allen and Evan Mobley. “You’ve seen the evolution of the big man,” Allen said. “The game has changed. Everything a big man does has evolved into something different. Teams are looking for a different type of big who can guard one through five. Like us.”
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