Ricky Rubio of the Cleveland Cavaliers faced heartbreak the other night as he suffered a scary season-ending injury while the Cavs went down to the New Orleans Pelicans, 108-104.
Rubio has been playing in the league for 11 seasons now and averages 13.1 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 6.6 assists.
But he’s worth more than his stats – especially for the young up-and-coming Cavs.
Rubio has the leadership skills and basketball wisdom that can help lead this team forward, even though he comes off the bench and rarely starts games.
Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio has suffered a season-ending ACL tear to his left knee, sources tell ESPN.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) December 29, 2021
Rubio’s injury comes at an awful time as the team is already suffering other injuries and, of course, COVID restrictions.
This is leading the team to contemplate some big changes to keep themselves afloat now that Rubio is gone for the rest of the year.
Which trades should they pursue as the season heats up and the playoffs get ever closer?
3. Ben Simmons
This trade isn’t just smart because the team lost Rubio – it’s something they need to do.
Ben Simmons to the Cavs is a smart trade that would help propel the team even further in the Eastern Conference and also set a foundation for them as a powerful, competitive team for a few years to come.
Apparently, Cleveland is one of the few teams in the mix for Simmons and they would be greatly improved by his defensive skills and his ability to space the floor.
Report: The Timberwolves, Pacers, Cavaliers, Pistons, Raptors and Spurs are still inquiring about the trade availability of Ben Simmons, via @PompeyOnSixers pic.twitter.com/5Wguu7rKk0
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) October 3, 2021
With Simmons, less pressure would be put on other players on the squad, such as Evan Mobley, Darius Garland, and more.
It’s true that Simmons isn’t a player like Rubio but it’s also true that he brings a skillset all his own and would make the already-impressive Cavs even better.
The Cavs have wanted Simmons for a while and the loss of Rubio should only speed up their efforts to land him.
2. CJ McCollum
CJ McCollum of the Portland Trail Blazers would be a great fit with the Cavaliers.
Like Rubio, he’s a great guard who can nail some impressive, lights-out shots from deep.
He’s also an experienced vet who knows how way around the league and the playoffs too.
With an average of 20.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 4.5 assists a game, McCollum would instantly become a starter and could punch up the Cavs’ offense.
Even better, McCollum’s 39 percent three-point shooting actually beats out Rubio’s so in some ways the team would actually get a bit better!
If the Cavs are looking for a nearly even exchange for Rubio, McCollum would be a great fit.
However, this all hinges on Portland: would they want to trade away one of their best players in this scenario?
1. John Wall
John Wall has been sitting on the sidelines all season but perhaps it’s time the Cavaliers move to make him a full-time player.
Wall can play some seriously good basketball: he has a career average of 19.1 points, 4.3 rebounds, and a whopping 9.1 assists a game.
It’s been a while since we’ve seen him perform at those levels but if he could even give the Cavs a taste of that, they’d be greatly appreciative of him.
Wall to Cleveland doesn’t feel like a long-term solution and he comes with a host of problems (in many ways, he’s like the Russell Westbrook of the Eastern Conference) but he would help keep the Cavs afloat as they push through the season and, who knows, maybe he’d look like his old self again.NEXT: Guardians Fans Have A Right To Be Angry About Lack Of Moves