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#pounditSunday, January 29, 2023

Articles tagged: Ricky Rubio

Cavaliers set to get boost from return of notable veteran

Donovan Mitchell smiling

Jan 2, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Cavaliers guard Donovan Mitchell (45) talks to a television reporter after the game between the Cavaliers and the Chicago Bulls at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse. Mitchell set the franchise record for points with 71. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The Cleveland Cavaliers are poised to get some extra backcourt help as soon as Thursday with the return of a notable veteran.

Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio is targeting a return to action Thursday against Portland, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN. Rubio has not played in over a year due to a torn ACL in his left knee.

Rubio last played on Dec. 28, 2021. His rehab process took over a year, and the 32-year-old figures to fit into the Cavaliers’ guard rotation behind Darius Garland and Donovan Mitchell.

The Cavaliers have started 26-16 even without Rubio playing an active role. If he can play up to his previous standards, Rubio will provide the team with valuable depth and ensure that they do not have to lean quite as heavily on Garland and Mitchell, which can only help going forward.

Star guard would like to play with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson on Warriors

Steph Curry in uniform

Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are back incinerating defenses together, and one well-known NBA player would love a chance to join them.

Speaking this week with Spanish outlet Cadena SER, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio discussed the rumors that he deals with every single season and revealed his interest in playing for the Golden State Warriors.

“I’m included in some rumors in every free agency,” said Rubio, as translated by BasketNews. “… It’s a bit stressful, my family suffers.

“It would be nice to play with Steph Curry and Klay Thompson,” he added.

Granted, Rubio will have to wait until at least next season for anything to materialize with the Warriors. In December, the 31-year-old tore his left ACL for the second time in his career, ending his season prematurely. But prior to that, Rubio was having a resurgence in Cleveland, averaging 13.1 points and 6.6 assists per game in a newfound sixth man role. Rubio will also be a free agent in the summer.

The Warriors are once again one of the NBA’s best teams this season at 39-13. But their main backup point guard is Gary Payton II, who is a defense-first player. Even if Rubio misses the first few months of next season, there is a potential match for the Warriors in getting a legitimate playmaker for their bench (as well as one who is still looking for his first NBA title) There are also some indications that Golden State would have interest in such a scenario as well.

H/T HoopsHype

Photo: Nov 30, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) against the Phoenix Suns at Footprint Center. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Rubio suffers turn ACL in left knee for second time

Ricky Rubio on the court

The injury news is in for Ricky Rubio, and it’s not good.

The Cleveland Cavaliers guard left Tuesday night’s game late in the fourth quarter with a left knee injury. The team announced on Wednesday that Rubio suffered a torn ACL, knocking him out for the season.

This is a major blow for Rubio and the Cavs.

Cleveland has been the biggest surprise of the NBA season, and Rubio was a big part of that. He and Darius Garland were operating well together, producing excellent results for the Cavs.

Rubio was averaging over 13 points per game this season and nearly had a triple-double on Tuesday night.

Fans may remember that Rubio also suffered a torn ACL in his left knee in 2012.

Photo: Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Ricky Rubio helped off court after non-contact injury

Ricky Rubio limping

The Cleveland Cavaliers have been the surprise story of the NBA this season, thanks in part to some strong play from Ricky Rubio. But Rubio on Tuesday was having another good game for the Cavs until a possible injury interrupted things.

Rubio went down late in the Cavs’ game against the New Orleans Pelicans with a non-contact injury. He was unable to put weight on his left leg as he was helped off the court.

The veteran guard had 27 points, 13 rebounds and 9 assists prior to exiting the game. His Cavs ended up losing 108-104 to New Orleans.

Rubio tore the ACL in his left knee in 2012, which is the same knee he appeared to injure on Tuesday. The 31-year-old entered the game averaging 12.7 points and 6.5 assists per contest this season.

Warriors eyeing prominent guard to pair with Steph Curry?

Steph Curry

The Golden State Warriors could be trying to pair Stephen Curry with a notable fellow member of the 2009 draft class.

Joe Vardon and Kelsey Russo of The Athletic reported this week that the Warriors were “keenly interested” in partnering Curry with Ricky Rubio if Rubio wanted a buyout from the Cleveland Cavaliers. For now however, Rubio is all-in on the Cavs, who are a surprising 13-11 on the year.

That said, we are still a couple of months away from peak buyout season in the NBA. The Cavs may very well be this good, or they may be overachieving without their leading scorer Collin Sexton, who is out for the season. If the bottom falls out for the Cavs any time soon, it stands to reason that the Warriors could get another crack at Rubio.

The 31-year-old Rubio is having an excellent second act this year, averaging a career-high 13.6 points to go along with 4.0 rebounds and 6.1 assists per game in a bench role for the Cavs. As a strong defender as well, Rubio could potentially fit as Curry’s backup in Golden State or even in certain lineups with the former MVP.

Of course, this could all be a moot point if the Cavs’ success continues and Rubio is happy right where he is. But we do know that Curry wants the 19-4 Warriors to be aggressive with their roster moves. Going after a player like Rubio could put them in the most competitive position to contend for a championship this season.

Photo: Mar 5, 2020; San Francisco, California, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) during the first quarter of the game against the Toronto Raptors at Chase Center. Mandatory Credit: Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

Lakers could target Ricky Rubio?

Ricky Rubio

Pau Gasol had an excellent career with the Los Angeles Lakers, and now they could be trying to acquire one of his countrymen.

Adrian Wojnarowski said Saturday on ESPN’s “Woj & Lowe Free Agency Special” that veteran guard Ricky Rubio may be an option for the Lakers if they lose Dennis Schroder in free agency, per Dunking With Wolves.

Rubio, who is still only 30, averaged 8.6 points and 6.4 assists per game last season for the Minnesota Timberwolves. He has failed to find a home over the last few seasons, making four different stops since 2017.

Granted, Rubio is under contract for $17.8 million next year. That means the Lakers would have to work a trade for him. His shaky outside shooting may not make him the best fit either next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis.

But we know the Lakers are interested in bringing in another playmaker. On an expiring contract, Rubio could be a very attainable option for them.

Ricky Rubio concerned Wolves may squander Anthony Edwards’ development?

Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards is slowly starting to live up his billing as a No. 1 overall pick, and one of his teammates wants to make sure he develops properly.

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio spoke Friday on his rookie teammate and seemed to express concern about how the team’s situation could ultimately impact Edwards.

“I’ve said it from Day One: I think we have a gem here,” said Rubio, per team writer Dane Moore. “We have something. He’s going to be really good in this league. But there’s been a lot of good players who didn’t make it because they get lost in the situation they were in at the beginning. I’m trying to help him to really get where he can be without getting lost in everything that’s going on.”

It is hard not to interpret Rubio’s comments here as a dig at the team. He has already taken multiple shots this season at Minnesota’s culture. That includes when Rubio recently voiced skepticism at their long-term plans.

Rubio was himself drafted by Minnesota at No. 5 overall in 2009. He is also now in his seventh season with the team spanning two separate stints. Thus, Rubio knows the Wolves like very few others do.

The team has endured a lot of turmoil this year, including an NBA-worst 8-29 record and a head coaching change on top of that. It remains to be seen if Edwards, who is up to 15.2 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 2.5 assists per game this season, will have what he needs to thrive in Minnesota for the long run.

Ricky Rubio has more harsh words for Timberwolves

Ricky Rubio

Ricky Rubio’s second tour of duty with the Minnesota Timberwolves clearly has not been the jam.

The veteran guard had some more harsh words for the team after a blowout loss to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday.

“We have to build good habits from day one, and I don’t think we are in the right way, to be honest,” said Rubio, per Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. “I can be here and be positive like we’re trying to be and it’s OK. But we have the worst record in the league. We lost way too many games by 20-plus.

“I don’t feel like this is building something,” he added. “It’s hard. You always have to take positive things. Of course, we want to get better. But at some point we got to start wanting to change something, and it’s not happening.”

Not much has changed for the NBA-worst Wolves since they fired head coach Ryan Saunders and replaced him with Chris Finch. In fact, their nosedive continues, having lost all four of their games since Finch took over. It is true that the team has been decimated by injuries and COVID cases this year. But with so many young ex-lottery picks on the roster (including Karl-Anthony Towns, Anthony Edwards, D’Angelo Russell, and Jarrett Culver), you would expect Minnesota to be performing a lot better right now.

Rubio already expressed similar frustrations earlier this season. That makes it seem like there are deeper fundamental issues plaguing the organization.

Photo: Joe Bielawa/Flickr via CC-BY 2.0

Ricky Rubio calls out Shaq for ‘hating’ on Donovan Mitchell

Shaquille O'Neal

Ricky Rubio is standing up for one of his former teammates.

The Utah Jazz defeated the New Orleans Pelicans on Thursday by a 129-118 final. After the contest, Donovan Mitchell gave an interview to TNT’s “Inside the NBA” and received a criticism from Shaquille O’Neal. O’Neal claimed that Mitchell does not have “what it takes to get to the next level.”

Rubio tweeted his thoughts about O’Neal’s comment on Friday.

“Come on. Stop hating,” wrote Rubio. “He HAS it. Just go and watch his first playoff series as a rookie. Game 6. Last year playoff etc… hard worker, never says anything wrong, all heart, elite scorer, humble, great teammate and he just keeps getting better year after year.”

Rubio and Mitchell were teammates on the Jazz for two seasons from 2017 to 2019. The team reached the 48-win plateau and earned a top-five seed in the Western Conference in both years. The Jazz have also been a playoff team in every single season since Mitchell, still only 24, was drafted.

Granted, O’Neal is known for taking very petty shots at today’s stars. But his act certainly seems to be wearing thin among the league’s current players.

Ricky Rubio rips Timberwolves for ‘selfish’ play

Ricky Rubio

Ricky Rubio’s second stint with the Minnesota Timberwolves has been far from a happy homecoming to start.

The Wolves got blown out by the LA Clippers on Tuesday by the final of 124-101. The drubbing came after another lopsided 127-91 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. After Tuesday’s defeat, Rubio did not hold back about the team’s play.

“When things weren’t going our way, everybody goes playing selfish,” Rubio said, per Jace Frederick of the Pioneer Press. “We have to learn. There’s a lot of excuses. We’re young, blah, blah, blah, this and that, but once you step on the court, you’re playing for an NBA team, and the last two games, it’s been ridiculously bad.

“I don’t know if it’s because there’s no fans and the situation we live in right now, but that can’t continue,” added Rubio. “We gotta do something about it … We have to show some pride. There’s things we can’t accept and one of them is [that] we can lose games in this league. There’s a lot of guys who can compete and beat you. But we can’t lose the way we did the last two games.”

Rubio, 30, arrived in Minnesota this past offseason for his second stint with the team after playing the first six seasons of his NBA career with them. The T-Wolves have a completely new group now though, as the only teammate left from Rubio’s first stint is Karl-Anthony Towns, who did not play in either of the blowouts due to a dislocated wrist.

The Timberwolves did win their first two games of the season, so they are still 2-2 despite the rough patch. But Rubio is far from the first veteran to call out the team for cultural issues.

Photo: Joe Bielawa/Flickr via CC-BY 2.0