12-Year Veteran Could Be Playing Final NBA Season

He's spent the last 12 seasons of his pro career in the NBA, but it's sounding like the 2023-24 campaign could be the final one in North America for Cleveland Cavaliers guard Ricky Rubio.

Spanish website Mundo Deportivo is reporting that Rubio is strongly considering returning to Spain, where he started his professional career for two seasons, by joining Barcelona in 2024, and that a deal is all but done.

Rubio signed a 3-year, $18.4M contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the 2022 offseason. He had made a significant impact as the backup point guard that previous season before tearing his left ACL for the second time in his career. 

The 32-year-old returned this past season to a greatly reduced role and production, averaging just 5.2 points and 3.2 assists. 

His contract is only partially guaranteed for the '24-'25 season, which could give him the impetus to return home. Per the Spanish media outlet:

Various sources familiar with the contacts have confirmed to Mundo Deportivo that there is great harmony between both parties and that the operation is practically agreed.

Barcelona was Rubio's first professional team, from 2009 through 2011. In his dozen NBA seasons, he's put up some nice offensive numbers from the point, averaging 10.8 points, 7.4 assists and 4.1 rebounds, while adding nearly two steals per game. 

Rubio denies that a deal is actually in place with Barca, but all signs point to him being homeward-bound after the upcoming NBA season.

Photo: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports