Ricky Rubio

Central Notes: Rubio, Weaver, Cunningham, Williams, Ingles

Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio, who suffered a torn left ACL last December, is hopeful he can return to action this December, but won’t put a timetable on it, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes.

“I wanted to be ready for training camp but I knew it was impossible,” Rubio said. “Talking with my trainers and medical staff, they say 10-12 months but it’s a long range. It changes every week. At the end of the day, putting a date on it, for me personally, I need it. But I think it’s not good to put a date when I’m going to be back.”

Rubio returned to Cleveland on a three-year, $18.4MM contract.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • Pistons general manager Troy Weaver believes that after a complete overhaul during his regime, the roster is well-stocked at every position, James Edwards III of The Athletic writes. “I feel like we finally have a full complement of players,” he said. “The first two years, we didn’t. It’s my job to make sure we have a roster in place that can come out and compete. I feel like we have a full complement of players, so we can go out and compete now. We’ll be short in experience in some areas, but I’m excited about the roster and where we are.”
  • Pistons second-year guard Cade Cunningham has added nearly 20 pounds and he believes he’ll be more prepared to handle the physicality of the league. “Having a stronger body … it’s a lot harder to get hurt,” he said. “I think I’ll be able to take more bumps and handle the physicality of the NBA. I’ll be a lot more prepared for it this year.”
  • Patrick Williams is excited that the Bulls have high expectations for him after an injury-marred season. However, he’s not trying to approach it any differently, Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times writes. “I look at every year as a make or break year,” Williams said. “I looked at my rookie year that way, second year and this year is the exact same way.”
  • Bucks forward Joe Ingles could return to action as early as December, according to general manager Jon Horst, ESPN’s Jamal Collier tweets. Ingles, who signed a one-year, $6.5MM contract with Milwaukee early in free agency, is recovering from a torn ACL.

Cavaliers Rumors: Mitchell, Love, Rubio, LeBron

The Cavaliers‘ trade for Donovan Mitchell came together quickly last week after the Knicks decided to give an extension to RJ Barrett, Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com says in a HoopsHype discussion with Michael Scotto. The Cavs and Jazz held unproductive talks regarding Mitchell in July at the Las Vegas Summer League, but president of basketball operations Koby Altman reached out again after news leaked of Barrett’s extension, asking if Utah would accept a package that didn’t include Darius Garland, Jarrett Allen or Evan Mobley.

The resulting deal gives Cleveland four potential All-Stars who are under contract for the next three seasons, along with $2.5MM in remaining cap room to fill out the roster. Fedor notes that the Cavaliers have a history of keeping a roster spot open for flexibility, so the next move may not happen right away. He suggests Cleveland may try to package Caris LeVert or Cedi Osman along with second-round picks in an effort to trade for a reliable small forward.

Scotto points out that Collin Sexton was a big winner in the trade because he had to be re-signed before he could be sent to Utah. Scotto hears that Sexton’s new four-year, $72MM contract is far beyond what Cleveland would have offered to keep him. The Cavs had been unwilling to exceed the luxury tax threshold to re-sign Sexton or to attach assets in an Osman trade to clear more room below the tax to increase their offer to Sexton.

There’s more on the Cavaliers from Fedor and Scotto:

  • Kevin Love‘s expiring $28.9MM contract could be used for another major trade, but Fedor believes the team is more likely to keep Love and take advantage of the cap relief after the season. Love accepted a reserve role under coach J.B. Bickerstaff last season and is well-liked in the locker room. Scotto can see him re-signing next summer for roughly the mid-level exception.
  • The Cavs brought back Ricky Rubio on a multiyear contract because they aren’t certain how much he’ll be able to play this season, according to Fedor. Rubio was examined by the team’s medical staff recently, and there’s still no timetable for him to return from the ACL tear he suffered last December. Fedor hears that Rubio might be ready in January or February, but the Cavaliers are mostly focused on getting a fully healthy season from him in 2023/24.
  • Cleveland wouldn’t turn down a LeBron James return after his current contract expires, but it would be on much different terms than when he came back in 2014, Fedor adds. Management feels good about the roster it has put together and wouldn’t be willing to give James the power that he typically demands.

Central Notes: Pacers, Sexton, Rubio, Bulls

As part of the trade sending Malcolm Brogdon to Boston, new Pacers Nik Stauskas, Juwan Morgan, and Malik Fitts all received significant partial guarantees on their minimum-salary contracts for 2022/23.

Stauskas had $2,106,932 of his salary guaranteed, while Morgan received a partial guarantee of $1,728,689 and Fitts got $1,665,650, Hoops Rumors has learned. Each amount is exactly $86,988 below the player’s full salary.

When added to Daniel Theis‘ $8,694,369 salary and Aaron Nesmith‘s $3,804,360 salary, those partial guarantees total $18MM. That was precisely the amount the Celtics needed to send out to in order to legally match Brogdon’s incoming $22.6MM salary — Boston was able to take back up to 125% of that outgoing $18MM, plus $100K.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Spencer Davies of BasketballNews.com spoke to a team source who is “quite confident” that Collin Sexton will remain with the Cavaliers going forward, either as a result of a new agreement between the two sides or the guard accepting his qualifying offer.
  • Ricky Rubio‘s new three-year contract with the Cavaliers is fully guaranteed in the first two years and features a partial guarantee in year three, tweets Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Rubio’s partial guarantee in 2024/25 is $4.25MM of a $6.44MM salary.
  • Patrick Williams‘ potential for further growth will be crucial if the Bulls hope to increase their ceiling, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times, who wonders if 2022 first-rounder Dalen Terry could help Williams realize his upside. As Cowley explains, Terry pushed Williams hard in Summer League practices and the two engaged in some competitive banter during those sessions.

Contract Details: Rubio, Bol, Dort, Boucher

The Cavaliers will use a portion of their mid-level exception to sign Ricky Rubio, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer tweets. Rubio has agreed to a three-year, $18.4MM contract to return to Cleveland.

Rubio, who suffered a torn ACL in late December, finished the season with the Pacers. The Cavs’ front office explored the possibility of a sign-and-trade with the Pacers but couldn’t come to an agreement, Fedor explains.

Here are a few more contract-related notes from around the league:

  • The second year of Bol Bol‘s contract with the Magic is a team option, Khobi Price of the Orlando Sentinel tweets. According to Spotrac, Bol Bol’s two-year deal is a minimum-salary contract worth a total of $3,968,718.
  • The unlikely bonuses in Luguentz Dort‘s contract with the Thunder are for making the All-Defensive Team and the Defensive Player of the Year award, according to ESPN’s Bobby Marks (video link). Those bonuses are worth $1MM annually. The five-year deal has a total base value of $82.5MM.
  • Chris Boucher‘s three-year, $35.2MM contract with the Raptors is fully guaranteed, Marks tweets. The first year of the contract is worth $12.7MM and his cap hits decline over the following two seasons.

Central Notes: Cavaliers, Sexton, Bulls, Pacers, Stephenson

The Cavaliers were decisive and intentional in the areas they wanted to address in free agency, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com (subscriber link). As Fedor previously outlined, bringing back Ricky Rubio was always the top priority in early free agency, but because Rubio is expected to miss at least the first few months of next season while recovering from a torn ACL, the Cavs needed to bring in a second backup point guard to fill in for a while, which is why they agreed to a deal with Raul Neto.

Rubio has been rehabbing in Spain, but sources tell Fedor that the point guard is expected to travel to Cleveland shortly after his signing becomes official so his progress can be checked by team doctors. Adding two backups point guards instead of one creates a roster crunch for the Cavaliers, as after reaching a deal with backup center Robin Lopez, the team will have 15 players under contract with Collin Sexton still a restricted free agent.

Cleveland expects Rubio’s on-court impact could be limited in the first year of his deal, per Fedor, which is why the Cavs brought him back on a three-year contract, with the third year being partially guaranteed. A sign-and-trade with Indiana to free up a roster spot and money remains an option, according to Fedor, who points to Dylan Windler and Cedi Osman as players who could be on the move — if the Pacers are interested.

As for Sexton, sources tell Fedor that the Cavs are determined to stay below the luxury tax line — they’re currently about $15MM below — and view Sexton as worthy of a deal that would pay him in the low-to-mid teens annually. However, despite positive developments in recent negotiations, sources tell Fedor that Sexton wants “starting guard money with an annual salary that starts with a 2, not a 1.”

He has no market,” an opposing executive told Cleveland.com.

Fedor says the negotiations might take a while, and Sexton accepting his $7.2MM qualifying offer in an attempt to rebuild his value and reach unrestricted free agency in 2023 is a real possibility. Sources also tell Fedor that Darius Garland‘s five-year max extension with the Cavaliers is a straight five-year deal with no player option in the fifth season.

Here’s more from the Central Division:

  • Zach LaVine outperformed his previous two contracts (rookie contract and then a four-year, $78MM deal that he just completed), but his new five-year max deal with the Bulls will be measured by the team’s postseason performance, not his individual statistics, according to Darnell Mayberry of The Athletic.
  • In a couple of stories for NBC Sports Chicago, Rob Schaefer explores how impending free agent acquisitions Andre Drummond and Goran Dragic can help the Bulls. Schaefer notes that Drummond isn’t an All-Star-caliber player anymore, but he should still be a marginal upgrade over last season’s backup centers, especially on the boards. As for Dragic, Schaefer views the veteran guard as a low-risk insurance policy for Lonzo Ball, since Dragic is signed to a minimum contract.
  • Don’t expect Lance Stephenson to re-sign with the Pacers anytime soon, per Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files (Twitter link). Once Indiana’s trade with Boston is complete, the Pacers will have 19 players under contract for next season, so they’ll have to figure out how to trim the roster before anything happens with Stephenson — assuming they want him back.

Eastern Notes: Cavs, Rubio, Tsai, Bucks, Papagiannis, Bridges

The Cavaliersagreement with Ricky Rubio remains flexible and could eventually become a sign-and-trade with the Pacers, sources tell Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Rubio, who suffered a torn left ACL last December, isn’t expected to be able to play for the first two or three months of the season, so the Cavs want to explore other point guard options.

If they do a sign-and-trade with Rubio, they’d be able to use their $10.4MM mid-level exception to address that area, and Fedor suggests that another signing could be reported sometime this weekend.

Bringing back Rubio was “Plan A” for the team, Fedor adds, after he helped fuel a surprising rise to contention last season. Serving as a veteran component in a young backcourt, Rubio averaged 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists in 34 games before the injury. Cleveland was 20-14 with Rubio last season, but only 24-24 when he didn’t play.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Nets owner Joe Tsai is fed up with the drama surrounding the organization and won’t mind parting with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, according to Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Vardon notes that Tsai has been willing to pay the luxury tax in the three seasons since Durant and Irving arrived, but he hasn’t gotten much in return, with just one playoff series win in that time. Other distractions, such as the coaching change involving Kenny Atkinson, the trades to acquire and then unload James Harden, the addition of Ben Simmons when he wasn’t ready to play, and Irving’s refusal to get vaccinated have all tested Tsai’s patience, Vardon adds.
  • The Bucks have some interest in former first-round pick Georgios Papagiannis, tweets Dionysis Aravantinos of HoopsHype. The Greek center fizzled out quickly after being selected at No. 13 in the 2016 draft — playing 38 games for the Kings and one for the Trail Blazers — but he has been a star in Europe, earning a spot on the All-EuroLeague Second Team this year. Papagiannis is still under contract to Panathinaikos, so Milwaukee would have to arrange a buyout, but Aravantinos doesn’t see that as an obstacle.
  • The wife of Hornets forward Miles Bridges has posted several photographs showing injuries that she says were caused when he attacked her this week, as Amy Woodyatt and Jacob Lev of CNN write. Bridges was arrested on Wednesday and charged with felony domestic violence. His next court date is scheduled for July 20, per CNN’s report.

Cavaliers Sign Ricky Rubio To Three-Year Deal

JULY 8: The Cavaliers have officially signed Rubio, the team announced in a press release. As we previously relayed, the team used its mid-level exception to complete the deal after a sign-and-trade didn’t materialize.

JULY 1: The Cavaliers have reached an agreement to bring back free agent point guard Ricky Rubio on a three-year, $18.4MM contract, sources tell Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports (Twitter link). The third year will be partially guaranteed, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype (Twitter link).

Based on the financial details reported by Haynes, it appears Cleveland will use a portion of its mid-level exception to sign Rubio. Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN (Twitter link) was the first to report the two sides were nearing a deal.

Cleveland acquired Rubio from Minnesota in a 2021 offseason trade and he played a key role in the Cavs’ first-half success this past season. Despite serving primarily as a reserve, the 31-year-old averaged a career-high 13.1 PPG to go along with 6.6 APG and 4.1 RPG in 34 games (28.5 MPG).

However, Rubio’s season came to an early end when he tore his left ACL in December. The Cavs subsequently used his expiring contract as a salary-matching piece in their trade for Caris LeVert, resulting in Rubio finishing the season with the Pacers.

There had been reports throughout the offseason indicating that there was mutual interest in a reunion between the Spaniard and the Cavs — that reunion has now come to fruition.

ACL tears can sideline NBA players for a full calendar year or more, and even when they return to the court, it often takes them some time to get back to full speed, so expectations for Rubio in 2022/23 – especially in the first half – should be tempered.

Given that Cleveland agreed to a three-year deal though, it seems as if the team is counting on him to be around for the long haul and will be patient as he recovers from his knee injury and gets his feet back under him.

Once Rubio is healthy, he figures to once again slot into the backup point guard role behind All-Star guard Darius Garland.

Central Notes: Ivey, Agbaji, Rubio, Terry

Jaden Ivey‘s family has a long connection to Detroit, and the Pistons are showing their appreciation to their newly drafted point guard, writes Rod Beard of The Detroit News. The organization presented Ivey with replicas of jerseys worn by his mother, father and grandfather — made more than three weeks ago “just in case” the Pistons were able to select him — and much like draft night, Ivey was overcome by tears.

“You could see my emotions a little bit,” he said. “Just my family, what they’ve been through their whole lives and what they’ve worked for, they helped me get to this stage, just to see all the jerseys it just made me emotional.”

Ivey will be part of the foundation of the team’s rebuilding project, forming a dynamic backcourt with Cade Cunningham, last year’s overall No. 1 pick. The city is already embracing Ivey as he continues the family’s sports legacy in Detroit.

“I’m gonna say this,” coach Dwane Casey said, “the history and story of Jaden is unbelievable. It’s like a fairy tale. Even from me, and I’ve been in (the league) a long time. To understand his grandfather played here, his dad went to high school here, his mom played in the WNBA here, successful college coach right now, it’s beyond belief. And like (general manager) Troy (Weaver) said, the good Lord wanted him here.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • The Cavaliers were seeking immediate help in the draft, which is why they took Ochai Agbaji instead of a prospect such as Malaki Branham, according to Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. Cleveland expects to make the playoffs next season, and with other targets such as Ousmane Dieng already off the board, Agbaji was an easy choice at No. 14.
  • There were opportunities for the Cavaliers to trade into the later part of the first round, but they didn’t want to take on another guaranteed contract, a member of the organization told Lloyd. Cleveland is hoping to bring back Ricky Rubio, who would give the team 14 guaranteed deals. Rubio is still rehabbing after ACL surgery and probably won’t be able to play until January, Lloyd adds.
  • The Bulls had opportunities to trade up and trade down Thursday night, but they were thrilled to get Arizona guard Dalen Terry with the 18th pick, per Julia Poe of The Chicago Tribune. “He’s going to bring versatility on both ends of the floor,” general manager Marc Eversley said. “Last year early on, we had a lot of success when we created turnovers defensively and got out and ran. I think he’s somebody who’s going to be able to do that for us.”

Central Rumors: J. Williams, Cavaliers, Turner, Rubio, LaVine

The Cavaliers view Jalen Williams as a peripheral prospect with the No. 14 pick, but he’ll get a chance to change their minds at a workout Monday, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Williams said that session will be his last one before Thursday’s draft and only his third for a lottery team, with the Spurs and Thunder being the others. Williams has reportedly been moving up draft boards and believes his lack of exposure at Santa Clara caused some teams to overlook him.

“Teams haven’t seen me a lot just due to the fact that we were a west coast team playing late at night,” he said. “Just showcasing that I’m a lot bigger than what it looks like on TV and I’m more athletic. Honestly, just playing my game, going in there and competing with other dudes that are doing the same thing as me. Just show a good, positive attitude throughout the whole workout. Everyone here can hoop so try to do the little things to stand out.”

The Cavs might have a greater interest in Williams if they trade down, which is under consideration, according to Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Scotto hears from league sources that Cleveland would be willing to move backward in this year’s draft in exchange for a future first-round pick.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Trade rumors continue to surround Pacers center Myles Turner, but he prefers to stay in Indiana, Scotto notes in the same story. Turner, whose season was ended by a foot injury in mid-January, wants a chance to play alongside Tyrese Haliburton, who wasn’t acquired from the Kings until February. Turner reportedly views Haliburton as the best passing point guard he’s ever had a chance to team up with. He also expects a larger role in the offense now that Domantas Sabonis is in Sacramento.
  • The Cavaliers have interest in bringing back free agent guard Ricky Rubio, Scotto adds. Rubio helped Cleveland get off to a fast start last season before suffering a torn ACL in late December. He was sent to the Pacers in February as part of the Caris LeVert deal.
  • Zach LaVine appears increasingly likely to re-sign with the Bulls shortly after free agency begins, Marc Stein states in his latest column on Substack. Teams that were believed to have interest in pursuing LaVine are being warned that he may not be available, Stein adds.

O’Connor’s Latest: Sixers, Collins, Blazers, Cavs, Magic

The Sixers are exploring potential trades involving the No. 23 pick in the 2022 draft and Danny Green‘s expiring $10MM contract, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reports within his latest mock draft.

Because they owe their unprotected 2023 first-round pick to Brooklyn, the Sixers can’t trade their 2022 first-rounder until after it has been used. However, they could reach a tentative trade agreement on or before draft night and make that pick on another team’s behalf, officially completing the deal after the draft.

Using Green’s expiring contract as a salary-matching piece would also be a little tricky, since it’s currently non-guaranteed, meaning it would count as $0 for outgoing purposes. The Sixers could guarantee some or all of Green’s $10MM salary to make it more useful in a trade. But the more money they guarantee, the less appealing it will be as an asset to a potential trade partner, since Green is expected to miss most or all of next season after tearing his ACL.

Here’s more from O’Connor:

  • The Hawks are looking to acquire a lottery pick and are dangling John Collins, league sources tell The Ringer. It sounds like Atlanta also wouldn’t be opposed to including the No. 16 pick in the right deal. The Trail Blazers, who hold the seventh overall pick, are one of the teams the Hawks have talked to, says O’Connor.
  • O’Connor is the latest reporter to hear from sources that the Cavaliers would like to re-sign Collin Sexton and bring back point guard Ricky Rubio, and to confirm that the Pistons are among the teams with interest in Sexton.
  • Chet Holmgren “has some supporters” within the Magic‘s front office, but O’Connor believes “all indications” point to Orlando selecting Jabari Smith with the No. 1 overall pick.