Cavs: One key goal for Matthew Dellavedova, in scenario he’s back

Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova handles the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Matthew Dellavedova handles the ball. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

It seems that Matthew Dellavedova could definitely be re-signed by the Cleveland Cavaliers, and I’ll emphasize one key 2020-21 goal for him, in the scenario he is.

It was refreshing as a Cleveland Cavaliers fan to see Matthew Dellavedova play well and rebound a bit post-All-Star break leading into the season’s novel coronavirus-induced hiatus.

With that in mind, it is a bit unfortunate that the Cavs 2019-20 campaign would ultimately end, given the structure of the NBA’s season resumption with the league inviting its’ top 22 teams to Orlando. Even so, it was again nice to see Dellavedova playing really well in what would turn out to be closing out this past season.

Delly would lead the Cavaliers in assists per contest post-All-Star break with 5.5 per outing, and he was getting the group involved in their preferred spots. That was the case for Collin Sexton a bunch, Kevin Love, Larry Nance Jr., Andre Drummond when he was in there, Cedi Osman and others.

Granted, Delly’s assists uptick came with him playing 23.2 minutes per outing and even more so in some instances post-All-Star break, in large part due to injuries to Darius Garland and, somewhat to Dante Exum. Garland missed the Cavs’ last five games leading into the hiatus with a left groin strain, and Exum missed their last eight outings with a left ankle sprain.

Moreover, looking at next season, it’s not clear if the expiring Delly will be back. He’s set to be a free agent, but with his locker room presence, and still being a reliable reserve playmaker, I could very well see him re-signed.

At this state of his career, I’d imagine Dellavedova would be willing to sign a team-friendly deal, too. I think Delly’s self-aware enough to recognize he’s not going to play a bunch of minutes in games anymore, and a minimum deal for next season for him doesn’t seem far-fetched at all.

So, with him seemingly having a high possibility of being back with the Cleveland Cavaliers, one key 2020-21 goal for Delly in that event would be averaging 7.5 assists per-36 minutes.

Dellavedova played just 14.4 minutes per game this past season, which was a career-low.

It’s evident that if he is back next season, which I could very well see happening for him being a mentor presence for Garland and being a great locker room guy, Delly wouldn’t be playing more than that aforementioned minutes-share in 2020-21.

Garland, Sexton, potentially Exum and Kevin Porter Jr. need their minutes, but even so, in some instances, Delly could relieve Garland, in particular, off the bench as a reserve/spot point guard option.

Related Story. Two goals for Collin Sexton for next season. light

With that being the case and with him having impressive playmaking vision/feel, it’d be meaningful for Dellavedova to average 7.5 assists per-36 minutes, in the event he’d be back with the Cleveland Cavaliers next season.

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I come to that number because Delly averaged a near-career-best 7.9 assists-per-36 minutes in 2019-20, per Basketball Reference. Though again, Delly wouldn’t be getting a really significant minutes-share next season in the event he is re-signed, this suggested 7.5 assists-per 36 clip still seems reasonable.

That’d indicate Delly is doing a good job in a rotational primary playmaking sense for Sexton, Osman and/or KPJ/Nance when the opportunity calls for it for the Cavaliers, too.

That’d also likely be the case for Dylan Windler. Though he didn’t play at all in 2019-20 due to complications with a stress reaction in his left leg, if he’s able to be mostly ready to roll next season, he would mesh with Dellavedova really well as an off-ball/shooting/cutting presence I believe.

Anyhow, while Dellavedova seemed to lose his catch-and-shoot ability to a large extent last season, as he hit by far a career-low 23.1 percent from three-point range, which was really odd, he still could immensely help Cleveland in the playmaking sense. That’d be in spot minutes, realistically.

In addition, Dellavedova is still a very good team defender, which would help in rotational minutes still I believe.

While him playing a bunch against reserves played into it, along with the small minutes-share, Delly did still have a Cavs team-low defensive rating among regular rotation players in 2019-20, too, as noted by That was technically tied with John Henson, who was dealt near the trade deadline as a piece in a deal where Cleveland acquired Drummond from the Detroit Pistons, for context.

Anyway, though, in the event Delly’s back with the Cavs in 2020-21, which seems to be a good possibility, with his playmaking feel in reserve minutes, it’d be great if he could average 7.5 assists per-36 minutes.

That would be a bench boost, and it doesn’t seem unrealistic, as Dellavedova has led Cleveland in assist-to-turnover ratio the past two seasons, and had a career-best 8.0 assists per-36 in 2018-19.

Next. Two key goals for Dante Exum for 2020-21. dark

Even with seemingly more playmaking potential next season for the Cavs, also including Windler, Delly would still help in a big way in that regard in his minutes on the floor if he’s back.