NBA

Former Cavaliers, Bucks guard Matthew Dellavedova returning to native Australia to play in NBL, per report

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Veteran point guard Matthew Dellavedova’s time in the NBA has reportedly come to an end. The native Australian is planning to return home and will sign with Melbourne United of the NBL, according to Olgun Uluc of ESPN

Dellavedova first arrived in the United States back in 2009, when he committed to play for St. Mary’s College. While there he led the team to the Sweet Sixteen in the 2010 NCAA Tournament, was named West Coast Conference Player of the Year in 2012 and had his No. 4 retired. 

Despite his strong college career, Dellavedova went undrafted. It didn’t take him long to recover from that setback, however, as he linked up with the Cleveland Cavaliers for Summer League and earned a roster spot thanks to his aggressive defensive style and solid 3-point shooting ability. 

He never put up big numbers, but during that first stint with the Cavaliers he became an important role player on their back-to-back Finals teams in 2015 and 2016. His competitiveness and intensity made him a classic “hate him if he’s on the other team but love him if he’s on your team” guy. In a 2016 Los Angeles Times poll of NBA coaches and players, he ran away with the title of dirtiest player in the league. Yet those same qualities made him something of a folk hero in Cleveland. During the 2015 Finals, he famously worked so hard trying to guard Steph Curry that he needed an IV to recover after the game. 

Following the Cavs’ title run in 2016, Dellavedova signed a four-year, $38 million deal with the Milwaukee Bucks in free agency. But after two-and-a-half somewhat underwhelming seasons, the Bucks dealt him back to the Cavaliers in 2019 as part of the George Hill trade. Due largely to various injuries, including a serious concussion, he only played 106 games with the Cavaliers in two-plus seasons. 

While he could have possibly found another team in free agency this summer, his days of playing a meaningful role in the NBA were all but over. By signing with Melbourne United he’ll not only be able to return home but should get a lot more playing time as well. 



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