Losing Ricky Rubio to an ACL tear is a brutal blow for the Cleveland Cavaliers. His steadying presence off the bench as a scorer and playmaker was very beneficial to the Cavs and a key reason for their surprising success. In his first year in Cleveland, Rubio averaged 13.1 points, a career-high, and 6.6 assists, which ranks second on the team.

Kevin Love, one of the Cavaliers’ other steady veterans, offered prayers for Rubio when he first went down. He explained that Rubio is the team’s lifeblood and explained that the tight chemistry the team has made the loss harder to take in.

Due to the loss of Rubio, Cleveland is looking to acquire Rajon Rondo from the Los Angeles Lakers. The 35-year-old is adequately built to be a reserve, low-usage floor general at this stage of his career. Rondo’s creative and intelligent playmaking would be a huge addition for the Cavs and make him a sensible replacement for Rubio.

With Rubio and Collin Sexton out for the year and Darius Garland in health and safety protocols, the Cavs will need to find another reliable point guard in order to keep their standing in the Eastern Conference. While getting stellar rookie Evan Mobley back will certainly help, the Cavs’ reliance on their guards is not something they can ignore. Since playmaking is a huge part of their style of play, they will have to find either a different way to play or player(s) that can dish the ball.

The Cavs head into Thursday’s game against the Washington Wizards with a 20-14 record, the fifth-best in the conference.