Matthew Dellavedova

Central Notes: Dellavedova, Bey, Oladipo, Hankins

Matthew Dellavedova’s return from a concussion has taken longer than expected because of his concussion history, according to Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. The Cavaliers guard, who has yet to make his season debut, is progressing slowly and there’s no definitive timetable for his return. Dellavedova was re-signed on a one-year, veteran’s minimum deal in November.

We have more from the Central Division:

  • The Pistons didn’t line up a pre-draft workout and interview with forward Saddiq Bey because they figured he wouldn’t slide out of the lottery, according to Keith Langlois of Pistons.com. Bey dropped to the No. 19 pick and was acquired in a draft-night trade. “We were shocked,” coach Dwane Casey said. “He’s one player we did not meet with because we didn’t think he was going to be there later where we were trying to get the pick. Luckily he was and we jumped on it. “
  • Victor Oladipo becomes a free agent after the season but the Pacers aren’t in a hurry to resolve that situation, Michael Pina of Sports Illustrated reports. According to Pacers GM Chad Buchanan, “We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it, but in the meantime we want to try and help this team hit its fullest potential this season.” Oladipo is averaging 19.9 PPG, 6.0 RPG and 4.2 APG this season.
  • Tom Hankins has been hired as the head coach of the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the G League affiliate of the Pacers, according to a team press release. The 54-year-old Hankins was the head coach at the University of Central Oklahoma from 2015-19. He was then hired by the Pacers as assistant player development coach. The Mad Ants are one of the 18 teams participating in the league’s “bubble season” in Orlando.

Cavaliers Notes: Okoro, Garland, Dellavedova, Porter

It didn’t take long for rookie Isaac Okoro to establish himself as a difference maker for the Cavaliers, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The fifth player taken in this year’s draft won the starting small forward job in training camp and was effective in his first two games before suffering a sprained foot. He was recently placed in the NBA’s COVID-19 health and safety protocol, so the Cavs aren’t sure when he can return, although they’re hoping he’ll be back before their road trip ends next Saturday.

“He makes you feel comfortable. He makes you feel like you can trust him because of the way he plays,” head coach J.B. Bickerstaff said of Okoro. “He’s safe with the basketball. He doesn’t mess up many assignments. He executes offensively where he’s supposed to, and he just does all the little things that make the game of basketball easy. He made us feel extremely comfortable that we can rely on him while he’s out there on the floor.”

Cleveland has started three different players at small forward in the three games since losing Okoro. Larry Nance Jr. got the assignment first, followed by Cedi Osman and then Dante Exum in what Bickerstaff called a “matchup thing” against the Pacers. Damyean Dotson may also be in the mix until Okoro returns, Fedor adds.

There’s more from Cleveland:

  • The Cavaliers are seeing significant improvement from second-year guard Darius Garland, notes Terry Pluto of Cleveland.com. After a rough rookie season, there were reports that Garland stepped up his game at the team’s voluntary mini-camp. He’s carried that over to the new season, averaging 19.0 points, 7.2 assists and 3.6 rebounds through five games.
  • The Cavs are being careful with veteran guard Matthew Dellavedova, who hasn’t played since suffering a concussion during the preseason, Pluto adds in the same piece. Dellavedova has experienced several concussions in his career, and the team wants to make sure he’s completely ready to play.
  • Kevin Porter Jr. is dealing with personal issues and Cavaliers officials aren’t sure when he’ll resume playing, sources tell Pluto. Charges against Porter from a November incident were dropped last month, but the front office remains concerned about his maturity level.

Central Notes: Bulls, Holiday, Nance, Dellavedova, Exum

The Bulls will be without six players when they travel to Oklahoma City this week for a pair of preseason games, writes Rob Schaefer of NBC Sports Chicago. In addition to Garrett Temple (coronavirus), Denzel Valentine (hamstring strain), and Thaddeus Young (lower leg infection), the club will also be missing Devon Dotson, Adam Mokoka, and Tomas Satoransky, who are simply listed as “not with team.”

As K.C. Johnson of NBC Sports Chicago noted on Sunday when those three players – and Noah Vonleh – were given excused absences for the Bulls’ previous exhibition contest, those vague designations will likely become common over the course of the 2020/21 season as teams navigate the NBA’s coronavirus protocols.

While Vonleh eventually confirmed he had tested positive for COVID-19, that doesn’t mean the same is true of Dotson, Mokoka, and Satoransky. It’s possible they’re being kept away from the Bulls temporarily for contact tracing purposes, or even for a reason unrelated to the coronavirus. With teams not formally announcing which of their players have tested positive for the virus, we may be left to speculate in situations like this throughout the coming season.

Here’s more from around the Central:

  • Now that the Bucks have secured a commitment from Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kevin Pelton of ESPN (Insider link) wonders if an extension for Jrue Holiday might be next up on the team’s to-do list. Since he was recently traded, Holiday can only get a 5% raise and one extra year (beyond his 2021/22 player option) for now, but those restrictions will lift on February 26, allowing for more money and more years.
  • Cavaliers veterans Larry Nance Jr. and Matthew Dellavedova are entering the NBA’s concussion protocol and neither player will travel to New York for the club’s final two preseason games, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.
  • Dante Exum, who had 23 points and five assists and was a plus-33 in Monday’s win over Indiana, has solidified his spot as the Cavaliers‘ backup point guard entering the season, Fedor writes in a separate story for Cleveland.com. Exum, the fifth overall pick in the 2014 draft, is entering a contract year.

Eastern Notes: Dellavedova, D’Antoni, Erman, Pistons

The Cavaliers are close to finalizing a deal to bring back Matthew Dellavedova for another season, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com, who reports that the veteran guard has agreed to the parameters of a one-year contract. The agreement will give Dellavedova $2.1MM for the upcoming season, along with a one-year Bird restriction and the option to veto any trade.

Dellavedova, 30, is expected to serve as a back-up point guard and a veteran leader on a youthful team. Fedor states that several other teams expressed interest, including the Lakers, but Dellavedova opted for Cleveland, where he has spent most of his seven-year NBA career.

The signing will give the Cavaliers 14 players under contract, and the final roster spot may not be filled right away, Fedor adds. The team will explore potential signings heading into training camp, but may opt for the flexibility of keeping a spot open.

There’s more from the Eastern Conference:

  • Mike D’Antoni considered retirement after leaving the Rockets following their playoff exit, writes Alex Schiffer of The Athletic. D’Antoni was convinced to keep coaching when he got an offer from the Nets to join the staff of first-time head coach Steve Nash, who orchestrated D’Antoni’s offense when they were together in Phoenix. “He’s going to make it easy for Steve,” said Warriors assistant Leandro Barbosa. “Mike is one of the best coaches that I ever played for. He’s also one of the best from an offensive standpoint. He knows a lot of plays, he knows a lot of tricks, I think he’s going to be awesome for Kyrie (Irving) and (Kevin) Durant.”
  • Darren Erman, who coached the Celtics’ G League affiliate last season, will join the Knicks as an assistant to Tom Thibodeau, tweets ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. Erman spent four years as associate head coach with the Pelicans.
  • The Nuggets will receive $110K from the Pistons in the sign-and-trade that sent Jerami Grant to Detroit, according to Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report (Twitter link). The Pistons shipped $250K to the Jazz in the deal for Tony Bradley, Pincus adds (Twitter link).

Cavs Re-Sign Matthew Dellavedova To One-Year Deal

NOVEMBER 25: Dellavedova’s contract is now listed in the NBA’s transactions log, making it official.


NOVEMBER 23: Free agent reserve point guard Matthew Dellavedova will return to the Cavaliers, Olgun Uluc of ESPN tweets. The one-year agreement will be for the veteran’s minimum, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN adds (Twitter link).

The contract will pay Dellavedova $2.17MM. As the first year of a veteran’s minimum deal it will only count against $1.6MM of the Cavaliers’ salary cap. Since Dellavedova has re-signed on a one-year deal with Cleveland, the guard will be able to veto any potential trade that includes him for the 2020/21 season, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.

Dellavedova opted to forgo the Cavaliers’ in-market bubble team workout this fall in anticipation of his free agency. The 6’3″ point guard was first signed in 2013 by the Cavaliers after going undrafted, and became a key role player for the team’s 2016 title run.

The 30-year-old Australian vet is coming off a four-year, $38MM deal he inked with the Bucks in 2016. Cleveland received Dellavedova again when it sent George Hill to Milwaukee in 2018.

Marc Stein of ESPN tweets that the Lakers, led by Dellavedova’s old Cavaliers teammate LeBron James, had interested in adding the veteran to one of their last available roster spots.

Dellavedova’s role with the lottery-bound Cavaliers diminished this past year. He averaged single-season lows in points (3.1 PPG) plus field goal percentage (35.4%) and three-point shooting percentage (23.1%), across a career-low 14.4 MPG.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

In-Market Bubble Updates: Pistons, Wolves, Cavs

As the NBA’s bottom eight teams gear up to conduct group workouts starting next week, the Pistons have 15 players in attendance for the first phase of their in-market bubble. However, that 15-man group includes five G Leaguers, with a number of notable names from the NBA roster absent.

As Eric Woodyard of ESPN details, head coach Dwane Casey said on Wednesday that Blake Griffin, Derrick Rose, Christian Wood, and Langston Galloway aren’t participating.

“All of our young guys are here. Derrick Rose and Blake are not here, which is totally understandable,” Casey said. “Both are working out, and it’s nothing physical. They’re both 100 percent. Blake’s working out in LA, and Derrick is in and out of town.”

As for Wood and Galloway, both players are set to reach unrestricted free agency this fall, so Casey said he understood why they’d be reluctant to participate in workouts with the club over the next few weeks.

“We’re not reading anything into that either way,” Casey said, per Woodyard. “So it’s just something I totally get because if I’m a free agent, I wouldn’t attend anyway to the team you’re not under contract with.”

Here’s more on those mini-camps taking part in “bubbles” across the country:

  • The majority of the Timberwolves‘ key players, including Karl-Anthony Towns, D’Angelo Russell, and restricted free agent Malik Beasley, are participating in their in-market bubble, as are G Leaguers Canyon Barry and Lindell Wigginton (Twitter link via Woodyard). Free-agent-to-be Evan Turner, Omari Spellman, and Juan Hernangomez won’t be in attendance. Hernangomez is an RFA and is currently overseas, Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic notes (via Twitter), while Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News tweets that Spellman’s camp is hoping to find the big man a new home.
  • Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com provides details on the Cavaliers‘ in-market bubble plans for the next two-and-a-half weeks, with group practices set to begin next Wednesday. Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova, both eligible for free agency, won’t attend, but G Leaguers Levi Randolph, Marques Bolden and Vince Edwards have been invited to participate.
  • A personal matter will also prevent center Andre Drummond from attending the Cavaliers‘ mini-camp, though he wanted to be there, sources tell Fedor. “He’s been pretty engaged in everything,” one source said of Drummond. “It’s not like he’s gone dark. He wanted to be there. It’s nothing malicious. It’s not a sign or anything like that. It’s not going to cause a rift.”
  • The NBA sent a memo to the league’s bottom eight teams warning them that if they “require or coerce” players to participate in the optional workouts, they’ll be subject to league punishment, tweets Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer.

Central Notes: Cavs, Warren, Bulls, Pistons

The Cavaliers are set to return to their practice facility in mid-September to hold a voluntary minicamp. While most players will be there, pending free agents Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova will not be participating, per Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com.

Along with Thompson and Dellavedova, Andre Drummond isn’t expected to be in attendance at the Cavaliers’ minicamp due to a personal matter. Fedor says that the veteran center, who is likely to pick up his $28.7MM player option for next season, was initially interested in attending.

The Cavaliers are among eight teams who did not qualify for the NBA’s restart in Orlando that will get the chance to hold practices with their players.

Here’s more from across the Central Division:

  • In an extensive interview with Michael Pina of GQ, Pacers forward T.J. Warren spoke about his love of reading books. “I was thinking, I’ve gotta find a way to stimulate my mind when I’m not playing basketball and reading things that interest me,” Warren explained. “Sometimes you can get mixed up with some of the information you’re getting through social media or television, but if you actually like reading and getting it from the source, you can comprehend it better.” The 26-year-old forward had impressive performances in the bubble, which included a career-high 53 points against the 76ers in the seeding games.
  • Sam Smith of Bulls.com discussed some potential point guard options for the Bulls, who have the fourth overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft. In his latest mailbag, one reader asked Smith if the Bulls would think about trading down if LaMelo Ball is available at No. 4. In response to that question, Smith points out that new Chicago general manager Arturas Karnisovas has had success with finding gems later in the draft. However, if Smith had his choice, he would trade down for Iowa State’s Tyrese Haliburton, especially if Memphis’ James Wiseman is off the board.
  • In his latest mailbag, Keith Langlois of Pistons.com wrote about Sekou Doumbouya‘s possible role next season under head coach Dwane Casey, various draft options for the Pistons, and Derrick Rose‘s outlook. When it comes to October’s draft, Langlois writes that all options are on the table for the Pistons, who own the seventh overall pick. He mentions that they could select either Deni Avdija, Killian Hayes, Isaac Okoro, Onyeka Okongwu, or Haliburton.

Cavaliers Notes: Love, Thompson, Dellavedova, Free Agency

The Cavaliers continue to place a high value on Kevin Love and won’t deal him cheaply just to get rid of his salary, writes Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. The front office doesn’t regret giving Love a $120MM extension that will last for three more seasons, Fedor adds, and they are confident his production will increase now that clashes with former coach John Beilein will no longer be a distraction.

Cleveland is hoping to move back into playoff contention in 2020/21, which will be the third year of the rebuilding process after the loss of LeBron James. The organization believes the addition of Andre Drummond at the trade deadline will help speed up the process, along with improvement from many of the young players added over the past two years. As the Cavaliers’ most accomplished and most experienced player, Love is expected to be an important part of helping the team become a winner again.

 There’s more Cavs news to pass along:
  • Re-signing center Tristan Thompson could be the team’s most important move of the offseason, Fedor adds in the same story. In addition to his on-court production, Thompson has served as a mentor to the team’s young players, particularly rookie guard Darius Garland. Fedor doesn’t anticipate a competitive market for Thompson given the expected drop in the salary cap and speculates that he might not get any offers above the mid-level exception, which will likely be in the $8-9MM range. The Cavaliers hold Bird rights on Thompson and can easily top that.
  • Cleveland also has to make a choice on whether to bring back veteran guard Matthew Dellavedova, Fedor notes in a separate piece. The 29-year-old guard lost his spot in the rotation under Beilein because of poor shooting, but took advantage of a second chance after J.B. Bickerstaff took over. Fedor says the organization still loves Dellavedova and he will likely return on a low-cost deal.
  • With the Cavaliers needing help at the wing, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic suggests four free agent possibilities: Derrick Jones Jr., Josh Jackson, Jerami Grant and Maurice Harkless.

Central Notes: Cavs’ Draft, T. Thompson, Prince, Bulls

The Cavaliers have Israeli forward Deni Avdija ranked in their second tier of draft prospects, according to Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com. Fedor states that the team has done “extensive homework” on Avdija, but evaluation is tricky because he had limited playing time in the EuroLeague.

At 6’9″, Avdija offers athleticism, versatility and play-making, but his outside shot is questionable. Forward is Cleveland’s primary position of need, but Fedor indicates the team plans to take the best player available, regardless of position. He identifies Anthony Edwards, James Wiseman and LaMelo Ball as the three players in the team’s first tier.

Fedor also says if the Cavs are interested in Obi Toppin, they should plan to use him as a power forward/center rather than a small forward. According to Fedor, Toppin doesn’t have the offensive skills or the lateral quickness to succeed on the perimeter in the NBA.

There’s more from the Central Division:

  • If the Cavaliers‘ season is over, fans may not get the chance to say goodbye to a pair of franchise cornerstones in Tristan Thompson and Matthew Dellavedova, writes Evan Dammarell of Forbes. With Thompson’s $18.5MM and Dellavedova’s $9.6MM contracts deal both coming off the books, Dammarell doesn’t expect either to return next season, although Dellavedova may be willing to accept a veteran’s minimum deal. Thompson told the organization he would like to be traded to a contender before the deadline, Dammarell states, but Cleveland didn’t like any of the offers it received.
  • Former Pistons star Tayshaun Prince has the experience to succeed as the team’s next general manager, contends Omari Sankofa II of The Detroit Free Press. Prince performs a variety of roles in the Grizzlies’ front office and has become an influential voice since being hired in 2017.
  • Joe Cowley of The Chicago Sun-Times looks back at a disappointing season for the Bulls that will be over unless the NBA decides to resume the season for all 30 teams. Cowley hands out a few awards, such as Zach LaVine as player of the year and Coby White as reserve of the year, and says the most significant event was John Paxson’s decision to tell ownership in December that changes were needed in the front office.

Central Notes: Wood, Dellavedova, Brogdon, Bickerstaff

Pistons power forward Christian Wood believes he needs to take a bigger offensive role with Derrick Rose sidelined, as he told the Detroit Free Press and other media members. Wood, an unrestricted free agent after the season, notched back-to-back career highs with 29 points against Oklahoma City and 30 against Utah last week. Rose is expected to miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury. “My mindset has been attack, take advantage of the opportunity,” Wood said. “With D-Rose being gone, I’ve got to be one of the first options for the team. I think I’ve been doing a good job of that and helping my team score.”

We have more from around the Central Division:

  • Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova heads into unrestricted free agency this summer and isn’t secure about his place in the league, he told Chris Fedor of the Cleveland Plain Dealer“I always feel I have to prove myself,” Dellavedova said. “Prove myself to get here. Prove myself to stay here. I never think that goes away.” Coach J.B. Bickerstaff hopes the club retains the veteran guard to guide an otherwise green backcourt, Kelsey Russo of The Athletic relays. “If you’re in the current situation that we’re in, if you are a championship team, no matter what it may be, Delly is the type of guy you want on your team,” he said.
  • Combo guard Aaron Holiday will start in place of injured Pacers point man Malcolm Brogdon and Edmond Sumner will get rotation minutes off the bench, J. Michael of the Indianapolis Star reports. Brogdon is out indefinitely due to a torn quad muscle.
  • The morale around the Cavaliers has improved since Bickerstaff replaced John Beilein and the new coach has noticed, Fedor writes in a separate story“They just keep pulling for one another and they celebrate other people’s success,” Bickerstaff said. “I think that’s a core value of a good team. That’s where we’re building. It’s fun to watch how they treat each other, how they respect one another. … It’s part of the environment we’re trying to create.”