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Report: Ricky Rubio could return to Cavaliers as reserve point guard

Cleveland Cavaliers v New Orleans Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - DECEMBER 28: Ricky Rubio #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during the fourth quarter of a NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on December 28, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The New Orleans Pelicans won the game 108 - 104. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

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Ricky Rubio was an integral part of the Cavaliers’ surprisingly fast start this season, playing well next to Darius Garland (and as the backup point guard), bringing high-level passing, quality perimeter defense and 13.1 points a game to the party. Then it ended when he suffered a season-ending torm ACL. The Cavaliers eventually traded Rubio’s contract to the Indiana Pacers for Caris LeVert, but Rubio was never going to suit up in Indy.

With Garland as the point guard of the future in Cleveland, one of the offseason priorities is finding a stable, veteran backup to play behind the young star. Enter Rubio, reports Chris Fedor at the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The hole at point guard is reserved for a stabilizing veteran — Ricky Rubio, Delon Wright or Tyus Jones, among others. Rubio’s relationship with the organization increases the chances of returning, with one source maintaining that it’s ‘highly likely.’

The obvious question is Rubio’s recovery from the ACL tear. He had his surgery just after Christmas, and the usual return-to-court time in the NBA for an ACL tear is around nine months (some players return faster, some are slower, it depends on age and a number of other factors). Rubio could be eased into action around the start of training camp and be good to go when the season starts, it just depends on his recovery.

If he’s ready, Rubio would be a good fit because he’s had success playing next to Garland — the Cavaliers were +16.1 points per 100 possessions in the minutes they shared the court — and in a backup role. There’s a comfort level between him and the organization. A million things could change between now and July 1, but this is something to watch when we get to the heat of the summer.