Cavs Ricky Rubio Retires
NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – DECEMBER 28: Ricky Rubio #3 of the Cleveland Cavaliers looks on during the third quarter of a NBA game against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center on December 28, 2021 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

(official Cavs release) 1-4-24


CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Cavaliers have reached a buyout agreement with guard Ricky Rubio, Cavaliers President of Basketball Operations Koby Altman announced tonight from Cleveland Clinic Courts. Rubio has been away from the team since the start of the 2023-24 season.

“Ricky Rubio embodied everything a franchise would want from such an accomplished player, who helped instill a confidence and leadership quality that still resonates within our team,” said Altman. “When you measure his impact, particularly during the 2021-22 season, Ricky was instrumental in our 22-win improvement that year. His willingness to mentor our younger players speaks to the gravity of his tenure in Cleveland and the success we are having with this current Cavaliers group. We wish Ricky nothing but the best and remain supportive of his decision to continue focusing on his mental health.”

Rubio (6-3, 190) has appeared in 698 games (603 starts) with Minnesota, Utah, Phoenix, and Cleveland, holding career averages of 10.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 7.4 assists and 1.76 steals in 29.6 minutes. He currently has the 10th-most assists among active NBA players (5,160) and has also averaged more than 6.0 assists and at least 1.30 steals in 10 of his 12 NBA seasons. Originally drafted by the Timberwolves with the fifth overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, the 12-year NBA veteran was a 2012 NBA All-Rookie First Team selection. He has also made three playoff appearances with Utah in 2018 and 2019 as well as Cleveland in 2023, appearing in 14 career postseason games (11 starts) and averaging 11.5 points, 4.7 rebounds, 6.3 assists and 1.50 steals in 26.1 minutes. A longtime member of the Spanish National Team, Rubio has played in three Olympics (2020, 2016, 2008), winning silver 2008 and bronze in 2016. At the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, he scored 38 points against the United States, breaking the record for most points scored against USA during Olympic competition. He also led Spain to a gold medal in the 2019 FIBA World Cup.

In two seasons with the Cavaliers (2021-22, 2022-23), Rubio appeared in 67 games (10 starts) with averages of 9.2 points, 5.1 assists, 3.1 rebounds and 1.1 steals in 22.9 minutes. During the 2021-22, his best in Cleveland, Rubio appeared in 34 games (eight starts) with a career-high tying average of 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, 6.6 assists, and 1.44 steals in 28.5 minutes, before missing the final 48 games with a season-ending ACL tear. Prior to the injury, Rubio became one of 12 active NBA players to record 5,000 career assists. He also recorded a career-high 37 points, shooting 8-9 (.889) from the three-point line, 10 assists and three rebounds in 31 minutes off the bench on Nov. 7 at New York, becoming the first player in NBA history with at least 30 points, 10 assists and eight three-pointers in a game in a reserve role. He also became the first player in Cavs team history to make his first eight three-point attempts in a game.

Rubio was traded to Indiana on February 7, 2022, after his injury in a deal that brought Caris LeVert to Cleveland but did not appear in a game for the Pacers. He resigned with the Cavaliers as a free agent on July 7, 2022, and appeared in 33 games during the 2022-23 season, making his season debut on Jan. 12 at Portland, where he chipped in nine points and three rebounds in 10 minutes off the bench. It was his first game back since suffering the ACL injury on Dec. 28, 2021, at New Orleans.

Cleveland’s roster now stands at 16 players, including three Two-Way players.