NBA Free Agency: Cavaliers officially sign Ricky Rubio
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by Tom Withers, AP News
The Cavaliers filled one of their biggest needs, acquiring veteran point guard Ricky Rubio from the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.
Cleveland sent forward Taurean Prince, a 2022 second-round draft pick and cash to Minnesota for the 30-year-old Rubio, who has spent 10 years in the NBA.
The teams agreed to the deal last week before the draft, but had to wait for league approval and because Rubio was in Japan at the Olympics. He scored 38 points in a quarterfinal loss to the U.S. on Tuesday.
Rubio’s point total is a Spanish men’s Olympic record, and the most ever scored by a U.S. men’s Olympic opponent, breaking the mark of 35 by Puerto Rico’s Butch Lee in 1976.
The Cavs were desperate to find a dependable backup point guard for Darius Garland. Matthew Dellavedova served in that role last season, but he missed much of the year after a concussion.
Dellavedova recently signed a three-year deal in Australia.
Rubio averaged 8.6 points and 6.4 assists last season for Minnesota. He was back with the Timberwolves in 2021 after playing in Phoenix and Utah. He played his first six seasons with the Timberwolves, who took him with the fifth overall pick in 2009.
The Cavs acquired the 6-foot-7 Prince from Brooklyn last season in the three-team deal that sent James Harden to the Nets. Prince averaged 10.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 29 games for Cleveland.