Cleveland Cavaliers to sign free agent point guard Raul Neto to minimum one-year veteran contract, sources say

CLEVELAND, Ohio — A backup point guard wasn’t enough for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Despite opening their flurry of free agency activity with a three-year contract for veteran main guard Ricky Rubio, the Cavaliers continued to seek another. Sources tell the team has agreed to a minimum one-year contract with Raul Neto.

Heading into his eighth NBA season, the 30-year-old floor general will serve as the primary point guard while Rubio recovers from a torn ACL.

Friday’s decision will not only take away some of the burden on All-Star point guard Darius Garland — an offseason goal after the youngster wore out mentally and physically at the end of 2021-22 — but it will prevent the Cavs from losing. have to rush Rubio’s recovery. When Rubio is ready — maybe in December or January — the scrappy Neto, known more for his defense than his offense, will provide the depth needed as a third-string point guard, something the Cavs appreciate even more after a stack. of backcourt injuries the last few seasons.

Neto — who has been close with Cavs assistant coach Antonio Lang since his Utah Jazz days, with Lang often referring to Neto as one of his favorite players — has spent the past two years with the Washington Wizards . In 2020-21, Neto posted career highs in points (8.7), rebounds (2.4), field goal percentage (46.8) and minutes (21.9).

In 70 games last season, Neto made 19 starts and averaged 7.5 points from 46.3% from the field and a career-worst 29.2% from 3-point range to go with 3.1 assists decisive and 1.9 rebounds.

Originally a second-round pick of the Atlanta Hawks in 2013, Neto also played for the Jazz and the Philadelphia 76ers during his career.

Along with Rubio and Neto, the Cavs also agreed to a one-year deal with veteran center Robin Lopez.

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