Matthew Dellavedova

Dellavedova Seeks Eventual Return To NBA

When Matthew Dellavedova signed with an Australian team this summer, it was fair to assume he had played his last NBA game.

That’s not necessarily the case. Dellavedova hopes to revive his career in his native country, then return to the NBA, according to Kane Pitman of ESPN. Dellavedova, who played for the Cavaliers last season, signed with Melbourne United in early July.

“My goal is to get back to the NBA. I feel like I’ve got a lot more left in the tank, a lot of things to improve on,” Dellavedova said. “There were some talks with NBA teams, nothing concrete at this stage. Overseas there were pretty significant offers, but I’ve always wanted to come and play here.”

Dellavedova, who turns 31 next month, had a rough NBA 2020/21 campaign.  He appeared in just 13 games due to a variety of ailments, including a concussion, whiplash, an emergency appendectomy, and a neck strain. He then entered the summer as an unrestricted free agent.

Better health has Dellavedova feeling optimistic about his future.

“The body is feeling great. That’s the main thing, I feel like I just need to put a good chunk of time together training but also games,” he said. “Playing a lot of minutes and having the ball in my hands, making decisions and things like that. I’m going to have a great opportunity to do that with United.”

In 447 career NBA games, Dellavedova averaged 5.5 PPG and 3.7 APG. Melbourne United is the NBL’s reigning champion.

He played for the Australian national team in the Olympics but had a limited role.

Matthew Dellavedova Signs With Australian Team

JULY 9: Dellavedova’s deal with Melbourne United is now official and will cover three years, according to a press release.

JULY 8: Matthew Dellavedova is signing with Melbourne United in Australia’s NBL, ESPN’s Olgun Uluc tweets.

The 30-year-old guard appeared in just 13 games with the Cavaliers this season before becoming an unrestricted free agent. Dellavedova’s season was wrecked by a variety of ailments, including a concussion, whiplash, an emergency appendectomy, and a neck strain.

Dellavedova had two stints with the Cavs. He played his first three seasons there and had a key reserve role on Cleveland’s 2016 championship team. He moved on for 1 1/2 seasons with the Bucks before returning to the Cavs during the 2018/19 campaign.

In 447 career NBA games, Dellavedova averaged 5.5 PPG and 3.7 APG.

The signing will allow Dellavedova to return to his home state of Victoria. Melbourne United is the NBL’s reigning champion.

Dellavedova is slated to play in the Olympics for the Australian national team.

And-Ones: Australian Olympic Team, James, Missia-Dio, Spurs

Numerous current NBA players were named to the Australian national team’s final 12-man roster for the Olympics, ESPN’s Olgun Uluc tweets. The team is headlined by Patty Mills, Matthew Dellavedova, Joe Ingles, Aron Baynes, Matisse Thybulle, Dante Exum and Josh Green.

Projected lottery pick Josh Giddey is not on the 12-man roster but has been named as one of three replacement players, Jonathan Givony of ESPN tweets. Giddey will travel to Las Vegas for Australia’s exhibition games, Givony adds. He’s currently rated No. 9 overall on ESPN’s Best Available list.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • LeBron James passed on the Olympics this year and it’s unlikely he’ll play for Team USA again, managing director Jerry Colangelo said on ESPN’s Keyshawn, JWill and Zubin radio show (video link). “LeBron made choices these last couple of Olympics not to participate because he’s got a lot of things going on in his life,” Colangelo said. “So he put in his time, he made a contribution that is appreciated, but I think his time is over.” James’ last Olympic appearance came during the 2012 London Games.
  • Belgian forward Nathan Missia-Dio became the ninth player to sign with Overtime Elite, according to a league press release. The new development league will begin play in September. Missia-Dio, a 6’6” forward, played two seasons for Espoirs Limoges in France’s Elite U21 League. He is ranked 13th by among international prospects born in 2004.
  • The Spurs are seeking a new naming-rights sponsor for their arena, Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News tweets. Longtime sponsor AT&T won’t renew its current deal, which expires in the fall of 2022. AT&T has also sold off its 7.23% share of the team. Front Office Sports first reported the news.

Cavaliers Notes: Love, Sexton, Dellavedova, Varejão

Kevin Love‘s latest display of anger raises the question of why the Cavaliers are willing to be so patient with him when they won’t do the same for other players, writes Joe Vardon of The Athletic. Frustrated with not getting a foul call in Monday’s game, Love swatted the ball away when a referee threw it to him for an inbounds pass. It bounced to a Raptors player and led to an open three-pointer in a lopsided loss. Love apologized for the incident, and the team handled it internally.

It’s the latest in a series of outbursts involving Love, whose behavior keeps getting overlooked by the organization, Vardon contends. It happened during the same week as a 50-point game by Kevin Porter Jr., who was traded to Houston after throwing food at the wall and screaming at general manager Koby Altman when his locker was given away. The Cavaliers stopped playing J.R. Smith and Andre Drummond under similar circumstances and eventually waived both players.

Cleveland has fewer options when it comes to Love, Vardon adds. He still has two years and $60MM left on the contract extension he signed as a show of loyalty after LeBron James left. It’s too expensive for other teams to consider a trade or for a buyout to be realistic. The front office promised Love that it would try to remain competitive when he signed the deal, Vardon notes, but the team quickly switched to rebuilding.

Love is 32, coming off a string of injuries and is posting the worst statistical season of his career, so he and the team may be stuck in an unpleasant situation for a while longer.

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • Vardon expects the Cavs to offer Collin Sexton a rookie scale extension this summer, despite the fact that it might not be in their best interest. Vardon doesn’t see a strong market for Sexton if he becomes a restricted free agent in 2022, even though he has developed into a reliable scorer. Sexton still tends to dominate the ball a lot, and the Cavs might be better off waiting another year to see if he and Darius Garland can be a successful backcourt, but Vardon believes they will give Sexton the extension to show Love and the other veteran players that the team has a plan that’s being followed.
  • Matthew Dellavedova is likely out for the rest of the season, according to Chris Fedor of The veteran guard suffered a neck strain April 25 and hasn’t been with the team since. Dellavedova’s absence is part of why the Cavs hope to be granted a hardship exception to sign Anderson Varejão. The front office wants the 38-year-old big man to finish his NBA career in Cleveland, where he was a popular figure during his 12 years with the team.
  • The Cavaliers are focused on developing their young players as they wind down a disappointing, injury-filled season, Fedor adds in a separate story.

Health Updates: Rockets, Nance, Cavs, Hachimura, Clifford

After missing the Rockets‘ last three games while in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, second-year wing Kevin Porter Jr. has rejoined the team and will be ready to play on Tuesday, head coach Stephen Silas said today (Twitter link via Mark Berman of Fox 26 Houston).

Rockets big man Christian Wood, who missed Saturday’s game with a minor ankle injury, is also in position to return on Tuesday, Silas said (Twitter link via Berman). The team should get further reinforcements prior to the end of the season, according to Silas, who expressed optimism that D.J. Augustin (ankle), Sterling Brown (knee), and Eric Gordon (groin) will also be back in the coming weeks.

Here are a few more health-related updates from around the NBA:

  • Cavaliers forward Larry Nance Jr., who injured his right thumb on Sunday, has been diagnosed with a fracture in that thumb, according to a team press release. Nance has been ruled out for Monday’s game vs. Toronto and will be re-evaluated daily as he undergoes treatment and rehab. Sources tell Chris Fedor of that Nance will probably miss at least a week or two. With less than three weeks left in the regular season, there’s no guarantee we’ll see him again in 2020/21.
  • Within the same release, the Cavaliers provided updates on several more players, announcing that Matthew Dellavedova (neck strain), Isaiah Hartenstein (concussion symptoms), and Lamar Stevens (concussion symptoms) have also hit the injured list and will miss tonight’s game.
  • Wizards forward Rui Hachimura (knee) is set to return on Monday after missing the last four games, the team announced (via Twitter).
  • Magic head coach Steve Clifford, who registered a positive COVID-19 test, will remain out for Monday’s game vs. the Lakers, according to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, who tweets that Tyrone Corbin will once again act as the club’s interim head coach. Clifford continues to be asymptomatic, Robbins notes.

Cavaliers Notes: Allen, Nance, Dellavedova, Prince

Cavaliers big men Jarrett Allen and Larry Nance Jr. have resumed basketball-related activities on a limited basis and may be ready to play next week, according to Chris Fedor of Both players were able to work out during a practice session Friday.

Allen has been sidelined since suffering a concussion in a March 26 game. He missed his seventh consecutive game tonight and isn’t expected to play Sunday. Sources tell Fedor he may return Wednesday at Charlotte if he continues to progress through the league’s concussion protocol.

Nance has missed the past four games while fighting the effects of an unknown illness that resulted in a loss of about 20 pounds and forced him to be bedridden. A source told Fedor that Nance is “close to feeling like himself once again.” The team is also looking at a Wednesday return for Nance if his recovery continues. The Cavs will practice Tuesday before making a final decision on either player.

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • Matthew Dellavedova‘s return has given Cleveland the backup point guard it has been lacking all season, Fedor writes in a separate story. Dellavedova, who missed 47 games due to a concussion, whiplash, and an emergency appendectomy, is averaging a modest 2.3 points and 5.5 assists through four games, but his plus-minus rating is at plus-29 in 70 minutes. “Delly really does a great job of playing with his brain,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “He understands how to set the table for other people. His game isn’t based on himself. When your game is based on the team and making your teammates’ job easier, it makes … your comeback a little bit easier.” The Cavs signed Yogi Ferrell and Quinn Cook to 10-day contracts to try to fill Dellavedova’s role, but neither was kept on the roster.
  • Forward Taurean Prince will likely need ankle surgery once the season is done, Fedor tweets. Acquired in a January trade, Prince has one more year on his contract at $13MM.
  • Cavaliers players, coaches and staff members received COVID-19 shots March 30, Fedor adds in another piece. Because it was the Johnson & Johnson version, they won’t have to schedule a second dose, except for Bickerstaff, who got a Moderna shot before the others became available.

Central Notes: Teague, Cook, Love, Dellavedova, Williams

Even with the addition of Jeff Teague to fortify their backcourt, the Bucks still have a little breathing room under the luxury tax line, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tweets. Marks calculates that Milwaukee is $737,439 below the tax after taking a $510,589 cap hit on Teague, who was signed this week. Teague was traded by Boston to Orlando and then waived. The Bucks still have another roster spot open, should they choose to add another player.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • It’s uncertain whether forward Tyler Cook will remain with the Pistons after his second 10-day contract expires next week but coach Dwane Casey likes what he’s seen, Rod Beard of the Detroit News writes. “He’s an interesting guy. I don’t know what we can do with him contractually, but I’d love to keep him around as much as we can. He’s one of those guys you want to keep in your program because he gives you everything,” Casey said. Cook, who signed his second 10-day on March 28, has averaged 3.4 and 3.3 RPG in 13.3 MPG in eight games with the Pistons.
  • The return of Kevin Love and Matthew Dellavedova from long-term injuries puts the Cavaliers in position for a final playoff run, Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer writes. “We don’t have much time left, but I do think that we can put together a great last however many games that we have and really make a push,” Love said. “Having Delly back, having myself back, actually being able to make an impact playing the game, there’s just nothing like that.”
  • With the addition of Nikola Vucevic, rookie Patrick Williams is now starting at small forward for the Bulls. Williams hasn’t seen his role change dramatically, according to Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times“The people I guard are pretty much the same,’’ Williams said. “Even when I was [at power forward], I was guarding some threes and some twos, so nothing really changes. In our offense, coach [Billy Donovan] does a really good job of making sure the wing positions are pretty much interchangeable.’’

Dellavedova Available For First Time This Season

Veteran Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova, a longtime fan favorite who was a key role player on the 2016 title-winning team led by superstars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving, is available to return to action for Cleveland for the first time in the 2020/21 season tonight, according to Chris Fedor of The Cavaliers will host the Sixers, the No. 2 seed in the East.

Earlier today, we relayed that a Dellavedova return tonight was looking like a possibility.

Dellavedova has been sidelined since December 12 following a major concussion. The reserve, who has a long history of concussions, was kept in protocols for an extended period of time. An emergency appendectomy on February 20 further delayed his return to game action.

“Our conversation, he just talked about how appreciative he was, how we’ve dealt with this and been patient in giving him this opportunity,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of Dellavedova’s return. “He loves the game of basketball, he throws his heart into it completely.”

The 6’3″ Dellavedova has spent parts of six NBA seasons in Cleveland. The 30-year-old holds career averages of 5.6 PPG, 3.7 APG and 1.8 RPG.

Fedor adds that former All-Star power forward/center Kevin Love, another member of that 2016 title team, will suit up for just his fifth game this season tonight as he recovers from a calf injury that has hampered him for most of the season. Kelsey Russo of The Athletic tweets that Love will start in the frontcourt tonight alongside Dean Wade.

Health Updates: Harden, Durant, Drummond, More

The Nets announced today that James Harden, who left Wednesday’s game with hamstring tightness, has also been ruled out for Thursday’s contest vs. Charlotte. However, according to Shams Charania of Stadium (video link), the injury isn’t considered to be serious, and Harden will be day-to-day going forward.

Harden’s teammate, Kevin Durant, has been dealing with a more serious hamstring issue, having not played at all since February 13. But Charania says Durant is “closing in” on a return to action, adding that if this were the postseason, the star forward would already be playing. Durant still isn’t expected back until possibly sometime next week.

Meanwhile, Blake Griffin will rest on the second night of a back-to-back for injury management purposes, but the Nets will have their other buyout-market addition, LaMarcus Aldridge, available on Thursday for the first time, tweets Brian Lewis of The New York Post.

Here are a few more health updates from around the NBA:

  • Andre Drummond‘s debut with the Lakers didn’t exactly go as planned. The veteran center left the game with a right toe bruise, a diagnosis that understated how painful the injury was, as Dave McMenamin of ESPN writes. “I didn’t really think anything of it,” Drummond said, referring to a play where Brook Lopez stepped on his foot. “I came back in the second quarter and it was hurting a little bit more. And then after halftime, I finally took my sock off to look and my whole toenail was gone. So, it was just all bad from there. I couldn’t walk or run. So I just told Coach (Frank Vogel) to take me out.” Drummond is considered day-to-day.
  • Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova has yet to appear in a game this season due to a concussion and an appendectomy, but that may change on Thursday. Head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said on Wednesday that Dellavedova is close to being ready, and that he’s hopeful of a “Delly sighting” against Philadelphia, tweets Chris Fedor of
  • Suns big man Frank Kaminsky isn’t injured, but he’s on the shelf for now after being placed in the NBA’s health and safety protocols, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic.
  • As we relayed earlier today, Thunder guard Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will remain sidelined through at least mid-April.

Central Notes: Dellavedova, Markkanen, Tucker, Kurucs

Matthew Dellavedova hasn’t played yet this season, but the Cavaliers are hoping he can be ready during the team’s upcoming road trip, according to Chris Fedor of The 30-year-old guard went through a 45-minute shooting workout before Friday’s game and was scheduled to join the team for practice today.

Dellavedova, who hasn’t played a regular season game in more than a year, suffered a concussion in the preseason opener that sidelined him for two months. That was followed by an emergency appendectomy in February, which further delayed his return.

“Obviously we know how long he’s been out and what he had to deal with with the concussion and then as he started to work his way back the appendectomy happens you’re off two to three weeks,” coach J.B. Bickerstaff said. “He’s making progress and I would expect him back sooner rather than later.”

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • Lauri Markkanen‘s long-term future with the Bulls may appear uncertain, but he believes he could get an explanation any time from executive vice president Artūras Karnišovas, writes K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports. A source tells Johnson that a rumored deal involving Markkanen and Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball stems mostly from the fact that both are headed for restricted free agency.  I have a good relationship with AK and same thing with (coach Billy Donovan),” Markkanen said. “If that wasn’t the case, they would tell me. I’m happy. Obviously, we’ve gotta win more games and there’s things we can get better at. And that’s what we’re trying to focus on right now.’’
  • This week’s trade for P.J. Tucker will give Bucks coach Mike Budenholzer more flexibility with the lineups he uses to close out games, notes Eric Nehm of The Athletic. Milwaukee may use small-ball lineups in crunch time with Tucker on the court instead of Brook Lopez, unless the team is facing a legitimate center like the Sixers’ Joel Embiid.
  • With D.J. Augustin gone, Donte DiVincenzo will take over as the backup point guard, but the Bucks will continue to look for help, Nehm adds. A report this week listed Milwaukee as a possible destination if Isaiah Thomas returns to the NBA.
  • New Bucks forward Rodions Kurucs, who was also acquired in the Tucker deal, has entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols, Nehm tweets.