Celtics Suggested As Free Agency Landing Spot For Ricky Rubio

Ricky Rubio, Boston Celtics, NBA Trade Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Boston Celtics are hoping their 2021-22 NBA season is far from over. They got off to a rocky start in their second-round series against the Milwaukee Bucks, losing Game 1 101-89, but there is still plenty of time for them to bounce back.

While that is where all of their focus is right now, some people within the organization have an eye toward the offseason. They are beginning to formulate plans to upgrade the roster for a team that finished this season tied with the Milwaukee Bucks and Philadelphia 76ers with 51 wins, earning the second season on tiebreakers.

That wasn’t something that looked feasible around midseason. Boston was middling near the Play-In Tournament portion of the standings after blowing a huge lead against the New York Knicks. They looked to be going nowhere fast, but things picked up when Marcus Smart returned to the lineup following a stint in the league’s health and safety protocols.

Boston’s biggest issue was that their offense was stagnant and easy to defend. They weren’t moving the ball, as they had yet to buy into Ime Udoka’s game plan on that end of the court. From January 23rd on, the Boston Celtics turned into the best offense in basketball, skyrocketing up the assists leaderboard.

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Wanting that continuity to carry over into next season, the Celtics need to look for players that will fit that mold in free agency. Over at Bleacher Report, one player was named for every team to pursue in free agency. For the Celtics, that player is Ricky Rubio, who would be an excellent addition to their backcourt.

Boston’s success this season was predicated on defense and ball movement, two areas that Rubio excels in. Before tearing his ACL this season, Rubio was in the 97th percentile when it came to assist percentage. That would certainly fit right into what the Celtics are doing, as Rubio would take over as the backup point guard.

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His presence would make life easier for everyone on the roster, as Derrick White would then be able to play more of a combo guard role off the bench. Finding teammates and getting them easy baskets is something Rubio excels at and the Boston Celtics certainly have several players that can fill it up.

While the injury was a devastating one for Rubio, as he was looking to cash in this summer as a free agent, it is something Boston could take full advantage of. Because he is likely going to miss a chunk of the 2022-23 season, Rubio likely won’t land a very expensive deal. 

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Boston could be able to sign him to their mid-level exception. A one-year prove-it deal could also be an option so Ricky Rubio can get back onto the market next summer when there is more projected cap space around the league. Boston would be able to take advantage similar to what they did with Dennis Schroder last offseason before flipping him at the deadline for Daniel Theis.