CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Cavaliers have acquired guard Ricky Rubio from the Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for forward Taurean Prince, a 2022 second round draft pick via Washington and cash considerations, Cavaliers General Manager Koby Altman announced today from Cleveland Clinic Courts.
Rubio (6-3, 190) played in 68 games (51 starts) for Minnesota last season, averaging 8.6 points, 3.3 rebounds, 6.4 assists and 1.44 steals in 26.1 minutes. He ranked 15th in the NBA in both assists per game and steals per game in 2020-21 and averaged more than 1.30 steals for the 10th consecutive season. Additionally, Rubio shot .867 from the foul line and recorded four double-doubles. He also registered 10 games with double-digit assists and 21 double-digit scoring efforts.
Originally drafted by the Timberwolves with the fifth overall selection in the 2009 NBA Draft, the 10-year NBA veteran has appeared in 631 games (593 starts) with Minnesota, Utah and Phoenix, holding career averages of 11.0 points, 4.2 rebounds, 7.6 assists and 1.82 steals in 30.4 minutes. A 2012 NBA All-Rookie First Team selection, Rubio has the 12th-most assists among active NBA players (4,820) and has averaged more than 6.0 assists in nine of 10 NBA seasons. He has also made two playoffs appearances with Utah in 2018 and 2019, averaging 14.6 points, 5.5 rebounds, 7.7 assists and 1.82 steals in 33.6 minutes.
A longtime member of the Spanish National Team, Rubio began his national team career on Spain’s Under-16 team in 2005, winning a bronze medal at the 2005 FIBA Europe U16 Championships. The El Masnou, Spain native was named MVP of the 2006 FIBA Europe U16 Championships after leading Spain to the gold medal while averaging 22.3 points, 12.8 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 6.5 steals per game. He also posted two triple-doubles and a quadruple-double during the tournament, including a 51-point, 24-rebound, 12-assist, seven-steal performance in the championship game against Russia. Rubio, who recently competed in the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo and scored 38 points against Team USA last night, also played for the Spanish team in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, where at age 17 he became the youngest ever to participate in the gold-medal game at the Olympics. He led Spain to a gold medal in the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup in China, where he was chosen as one of the FIBA World Cup All-Star Five and named the World Cup MVP.
Prince (6-7, 220), who was acquired from the Brooklyn Nets as part of a three-team on January 14, 2021, played in 29 games (six starts) for the Cavaliers last season, averaging 10.1 points, 3.7 rebounds and 2.4 assists in 23.7 minutes.