CLEVELAND (AP) — The Cavaliers have agreed to acquire veteran guard Ricky Rubio in a trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, a person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Thursday night before the NBA draft.
Cleveland is sending small forward Taurean Prince, cash and a second-round pick in 2022 to the Timberwolves for the 30-year-old Rubio, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the NBA has to approve the trade.
The deal is happening as Rubio is in Tokyo playing on Spain’s Olympic team.
The Cavs struggled without a veteran backup point guard last season as Matthew Dellavedova was sidelined with a concussion.
Rubio is entering the final season of the $51 million, three-year contract he signed with Phoenix. He was acquired by the Timberwolves on draft day 2020 to give the team some more backcourt experience and depth, but his return to Minnesota to rejoin the team that drafted him as a teenager from Spain in 2009 at No. 5 overall was a bit of a bumpy ride.
His production on the court was as low as ever in his career, though he did serve as a valuable mentor to rookie Anthony Edwards, who frequently raved about Rubio’s savviness and leadership.
Rubio brings leadership and knowledge to Cleveland’s young team, and along with giving coach J.B. Bickerstaff minutes, he can mentor young guards Darius Garland and Collin Sexton.
Rubio’s trade also took place as the Cavs, who went just 22-50 last season, were preparing to pick third overall in the draft.
Prince joined the Cavs last season, coming over in a trade from Brooklyn.
AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell in Minneapolis contributed to this report.
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