Ricky Rubio Agrees to Buyout With Cavs, Retires From NBA

Ricky Rubio playing for Spain in 2016
Ricky Rubio playing for Spain in 2016. Photo by Heuler Andrey/Agif/Shutterstock (5837242ak)

Veteran point guard Ricky Rubio no longer intends to play in the NBA. Rubio agreed to a contract buyout with the Cleveland Cavaliers earlier this week while also announcing his retirement from the league.

The Cavaliers paid tribute to Rubio via multiple social media posts while thanking the Spaniard for his contributions to the franchise.

Rubio has been away from the Cavs since August when he took a break from basketball in order to focus on his mental health. Back in December, The Athletic reported that Rubio’s return to the team is unlikely and that Cleveland is working with the player towards a solution that would free up a roster spot for the team and give them financial flexibility. 

Rubio still had two years left on the three-year, $18 million contract he signed in 2022. He played 33 games in 2022–23, which came after ACL injury recovery, and averaged 5.2 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 3.5 assists per game.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski previously reported that Rubio still hasn’t made up his mind on his future. There is a chance that he will return to basketball at some point, but if that happens, he will play in his home country.

Rubio was drafted fifth overall in the 2009 NBA Draft by the Minnesota Timberwolves but didn’t come into the league until the 2011-12 season. He spent the first six years of his NBA career with the Wolves before embarking on stints with the Utah Jazz, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota again, and finally the Cavs.

During his 12 seasons in the NBA, Rubio averaged 10.8 points, 4.1 rebounds, 7.4 assists, and 1.8 steals.