Ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft, we have another trade. This one will see the Minnesota Timberwolves send Ricky Rubio to the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Taurean Prince, a 2022 second-round pick and cash considerations, according to Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic.
Rubio is currently in Tokyo with the Spanish national team for the Olympics and will have the strange experience of waking up to find out that he now plays for a new team. At this point, he's probably used to this aspect of NBA life, however, as the Cavaliers will be his fourth team in the past four seasons.
This move will probably end up flying under the radar with some of the other activity around the league, but it's a nice little pick-up for the Cavaliers. Rubio is still a very solid backup point guard who can run an offense and defends well. Perhaps more importantly, though, he'll provide a veteran presence for the Cavaliers' young backcourt.
Last season, Anthony Edwards called Rubio "the best leader I've been around all my life," and raved about the impact he had on him as a rookie.
"When I make a mistake, he's going to talk to me and tell me what I did wrong and how I can fix it," Edwards continued. "He's always trying to get me involved in the game. Even when I was coming off the bench, he would come talk to me, 'Hey what you want to run here? How can I get you the ball?' He's doing pretty (darn) good if you ask me."
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Rubio should be able to play that same role for Darius Garland and Collin Sexton. And if they end up moving Sexton, who has been involved in a number of trade rumors this offseason, they can do so knowing Rubio will be able to step in and give them reliable minutes.
For the Wolves, this is very clearly just a salary dump. Rubio was set to make $17 million this season, while Prince is only making about $12 million. The Wolves were already a few million dollars under the luxury tax, and this move gives them a little more flexibility.