The Cleveland Cavaliers transferred Spanish point guard Ricky Rubio to the Indiana Pacers on Sunday, reported ESPN and The Athletic portal.
Rubio, who seriously injured his knee and will not play for the rest of the season , arrives at the Pacers in an operation for which the Indiana franchise will send Caris LeVert to Cleveland.
To round out the deal, the Cavaliers will receive a 2022 second-round draft pick while the Pacers keep a 2022 first-round pick and two more second-round picks (2022 and 2027).
The Spanish base was enjoying a great moment with the Cleveland Cavaliers – one of the revelation teams of this course in the NBA – when at the end of December he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
This is the same injury he suffered in 2012 as a rookie with the Minnesota Timberwolves.
Until his injury in December, Rubio was performing at a terrific level and was pampered by the franchise as the cool, veteran leader guiding a roster brimming with young talent.
Rubio was averaging 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 6.6 assists in 28.5 minutes per game.
But the numbers did not exactly reflect his weight in the locker room, since Rubio -along with Kevin Love- was the mentor of a very promising squad with young people who are crying out for a step like Evan Mobley, Jarrett Allen, Collin Sexton or Darius Garland.
One of the keys to understanding Rubio's transfer now from the Cavaliers' perspective is that the 31-year-old player's contract ends at the end of the season and he will be a free agent to fully decide his future.
In exchange, the Cleveland team immediately reinforces its options with Caris LeVert to continue to instill fear in the East, where they were fourth (32-21) before the day began on Sunday.
The anecdote of this operation between the Pacers and Cavaliers is that it was known a few hours before they meet tonight in Cleveland (USA).
In recent years, Rubio had reached an extraordinary point of maturity, confidence and inspiration that allowed him to win the 2019 World Cup in China with the Spanish team (he was the MVP of the tournament) and to be the top scorer at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
In the NBA, on the other hand, he has not had much luck with his teams.
He spent many years with teams with low aspirations (Minnesota Timberwolves) and left other franchises just as they were starting to look big (Utah Jazz and Phoenix Suns) after Rubio was instrumental in cementing those projects.