Matthew Dellavedova

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 Cleveland.com. 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 Cleveland.com. 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 Cleveland.com.
  • 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 Cleveland.com. 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.

Cavaliers Notes: Love, Dellavedova, Wade, Trade Deadline

Kevin Love‘s absence due to a high-grade strain in his right calf is expected to extend through the All-Star break, sources tell Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Love hasn’t played since December 27, when he aggravated an injury that he suffered in the preseason opener.

Love has shown progress in the past two weeks and went through another pre-game workout Saturday. A source described it as one of the veteran forward’s “best pre-game workouts” so far, even though he had to end it early because of a minor cramp in his lower leg. Love received treatment during the first half, then joined his teammates on the bench later in the game.

The Cavaliers have just two games remaining before the break, and team officials believe he would benefit from the extra nine days offs. They’re hoping to have him at 100% for the second half of the season. Love was able to participate in consecutive practices last week, but felt pain in his calf after the second one, according to sources. He has been limited to individual workouts since then.

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • While his playing status remains uncertain, Matthew Dellavedova has taken on an assistant coach’s role for the Cavs, Fedor notes in a separate story. Dellavedova was re-signed to be a mentor to the team’s young guards both on and off the court, but he hasn’t been able to play because of a concussion and an appendectomy. “Delly sees everything,” Darius Garland said. “When he sees someone open, he’ll tell you that in the timeout. ‘You missed that guy in the corner.’ He’s always reading the game, he’s gonna put people in different positions to get a win. Delly, he’s a winner. So whatever you do to win, he’s gonna do it. 
  • Second-year forward Dean Wade was concerned about whether or not he’d have his contract guaranteed this week and was shocked to learn that he was making his first NBA start Tuesday, writes Marla Ritenour of The Akron Beacon Journal. Wade has remained in the starting lineup as Cleveland has strung together three straight wins. “I didn’t really have time to sit and think about it at first, but after shootaround I was like, ‘Man.’ I usually take a pregame nap, but I was so excited I didn’t even sleep,” Wade said. “I just sat there twiddling my thumbs on my phone the whole time.”
  • The Cavaliers will be one of the few definite sellers heading into the trade deadline, ESPN’s Tim McMahon said this week in an appearance on Brian Windhorst’s podcast.

Matthew Dellavedova Has Appendicitis Surgery

Veteran guard Matthew Dellavedova underwent surgery today for acute appendicitis, the Cavaliers announced in a press release.

The condition was discovered after Dellavedova told the team’s medical staff he was feeling pain in his lower right abdomen. He is currently recovering, and the Cavs stated that status updates will be issued “as appropriate.”

The 30-year-old suffered a concussion during Cleveland’s first preseason game and hasn’t played yet this season. Earlier this month, he called it a “temporary setback” and said he has no plans to retire.

Dellavedova saw limited action for the Cavaliers last season, averaging 3.1 points and 3.2 assists in 57 games. He re-signed with the team on a one-year deal during the offseason.

Dellavedova: I’m Not Ready To Retire

Matthew Dellavedova has been dealing with the after-effects of a major concussion but he has no plans to retire. The Cavaliers guard tweeted that he considers the brain injury a “temporary setback.”

“Retirement is not on my mind at all right now. Only focus is getting healthy and back with the boys to help make a playoff push,” Dellavedova wrote. “Cavs are playing good basketball and I’m definitely looking forward to being a part of what is getting built here. Injuries are frustrating but it’s a temporary setback and I’m looking forward to coming back from this better than before. Thank you and appreciate the well wishes.”

Dellavedova suffered the concussion during the team’s first preseason game. A report from The Athletic this week suggested that his linger symptoms could impede his basketball future. Dellavedova has experienced several concussions in his career.

He was re-signed on a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal in November.

“He’s taking steps, but they’re small steps,” Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff recently said. “With the history that he has, with the concussions, we’re taking every caution that we possibly can to make sure that he’s gonna be fully recovered first before we do anything with him.”

Dellavedova, 30, appeared in 57 games with Cleveland last season. Over the past seven seasons with the Bucks and Cavaliers, Dellavedova has appeared in 434 games. He’s averaged 5.6 PPG and 3.7 APG in 20.4 MPG while making 36.8% of his 3-point shots.

Eastern Notes: Dellavedova, Pistons, Cavs, Heat

On opening night of the 2020/21 preseason, reserve Cavaliers point guard Matthew Dellavedova suffered a major concussion. His continued troubling symptoms two months later may impede his basketball future, according to Joe Vardon and Kelsey Russo of The Athletic. Dellavedova’s symptoms have prevented the 30-year-old vet from making much momentum in his recovery.

“He’s taking steps, but they’re small steps,” Cavaliers head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said about the backup guard’s recovery last month. “With the history that he has, with the concussions, we’re taking every caution that we possibly can to make sure that he’s gonna be fully recovered first before we do anything with him.”

There’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • After the Pistons selected point guard Killian Hayes with the No. 7 pick in the 2020 draft, James L. Edwards III and Sam Vecenie of The Athletic posit that the 5-16 team should still consider drafting 6’7″ Oklahoma State ball handler Cade Cunningham if they have the opportunity to do so. Cunningham is averaging 18.3 PPG, 5.9 RPG and 3.5 APG for the Cowboys.
  • Though the Cavaliers have enjoyed an impressive 10-12 start to their 2020/21 season (good for the No. 7 seed in the East), Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com opines that the team needs to update its offense from a physical, bully-ball style to a more contemporary, three-point heavy output. “I definitely believe we need more 3s,” second-year guard Darius Garland said. “I don’t think we win any games just shooting all 2s. When we get player movement, we get open shots. And that’s when we knock them down. That’s when we are at our best.”
  • Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel speculates about how the Heat can improve their bench depth with potential minimum salary roster additions, especially given the team’s recent rash of short- and long-term player injuries and coronavirus-related player absences.

And-Ones: Australia, Evans, Masks, Free Agency

Ben Simmons heads the list of players named by Basketball Australia to the country’s preliminary Olympic squad, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Among some of the other NBA notables on the 24-player list are Aron Baynes, Joe Ingles, Dante Exum, Matisse Thybulle, Patty Mills, Josh Green, Thon Maker and Matthew Dellavedova. The squad will have to be pared to 12 players for the Olympic tournament in Tokyo this summer.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • The Erie BayHawks waived guard Jacob Evans to make room for forward Jordan Bell, JD Shaw of Hoops Rumors tweets. Bell was released from his 10-day contract with the Wizards over the weekend. Evans played for the Warriors and Timberwolves the past two seasons.
  • The NBA will soon require players to wear KN95 or KF94 masks on the bench and all other areas where masks are necessary, Tim Bontemps of ESPN writes. The new rule will go into effect over the next week. Starting with games on Friday, the NBA will more strictly enforce current rules regarding the use of face masks, Bontemps adds.
  • The Athletic trio of James Edwards III (Pistons), Mike Vorkunov (Knicks) and Chris Kirschner (Hawks) take a closer look at their teams’ free agent moves during the offseason, how well those players have worked out so far, and what those franchises could have done differently.