Cavs: Helping Kevin Porter Jr. play PG is selling point for Matthew Dellavedova

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) /

Aiding Kevin Porter Jr. in him playing point guard at times is a selling point for Matthew Dellavedova to be back with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

This past season, a bright spot in a less than stellar campaign for the Cleveland Cavaliers was Kevin Porter Jr., who looks to be a promising young player. In a reserve role, Porter made his presence felt with 10.0 points, 3.2 rebounds, 2.2 assists and 0.9 steals per game.

With Porter only playing 23.2 minutes per outing as again a rookie bench contributor, he flashed big-time potential as an on-ball creator.

Porter demonstrated that he’s a highly capable finisher with both hands on drives/cuts, changed speeds in the pick-and-roll game nicely and generated separation consistently. He also knocked in 40.7 percent of his catch-and-shoot three-point attempts, per’s shot tracking data.

Along with him seeming to have a high ceiling defensively with his ability to time up passes as a stunter, and deter drives on the perimeter, Porter’s passing feel was encouraging, too.

In his last 12 games active before missing three due to a concussion before the season’s novel coronavirus-induced suspension and in what was ultimately the Cavs’ last stretch, Porter had an assist rate of 17.1 percent.

He clearly has a good rapport with Larry Nance Jr. in terms of hitting him for dump-offs/rolls to the basket, which was a outstanding to see projecting forward.

Plus, Porter seemed more comfortable hitting drive-and-kicks as last season progressed as well. That helped out Kevin Love, Darius Garland and others.

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With KPJ’s feel as a passer, and with his handle, it would’ve been interesting to see him get some burn as a point guard at times in the closing stretch of last season, too. That was something that Cavs head coach J.B. Bickerstaff wanted to utilize on occasion before the season was set to end that he touched on shortly after taking over the head coaching reigns post-All-Star break.

Due to COVID-19, though, we didn’t end up seeing that, and with the Cavs, who had the league’s second-worst record pre-hiatus, not set to be an Orlando participant, we won’t see point KPJ in 2019-20.

Next season, however, it would seem feasible that he could at times.

Given that from Porter, I believe that’s more of a selling point for the Cleveland Cavaliers to re-sign Matthew Dellavedova.

At this juncture, Matthew Dellavedova is set to be an unrestricted free agent in the upcoming free agency period this fall. It would seem to be a high possibility that the Cavs re-sign Dellavedova, though, perhaps on a one/two-year deal that is team-friendly.

Dellavedova, while his shot was ugly the vast majority of 2019-20, and he hit by far a career-low 23.1 percent from three-point land, his reserve playmaking was still a positive. Of course, him playing only 14.4 minutes per game played into it comparatively, but Delly did lead the Cavaliers in assist rate at 29.7 percent.

Post-All-Star break, Dellavedova was particularly effective as a playmaker, too. Darius Garland missed what would be Cleveland’s last five games due to a left groin strain, so that played into it some, but Delly led the Cavs in that span with 5.5 assists per outing. He only had 1.6 turnovers per outing as well.

Moreover, while I wouldn’t expect Dellavedova to be having near the workload he had post-All-Star, he could still be a solid reserve point guard option for the Cavaliers at times throughout games next season in relief of Garland. Delly sets up his teammates well, and is still a very good team defender on the other end.

Perhaps just as importantly, though, with KPJ seemingly set to play point guard at times in 2020-21, that’d be more of a selling point to bring back Delly. I’d imagine Delly, a fan favorite, would be very interested in returning to the Cavs and even via team-friendly deal, anyhow.

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Dellavedova is a model teammate, and I’d think helped Garland last season in his progression as a playmaker.

While Garland’s scoring/aggressiveness as a scorer was fairly underwhelming, his passing was a positive I believe, and in Garland’s last 26 games active, he averaged 5.1 assists per outing.

I’d imagine seeing how Delly operates at times in games helped Garland as well, and seemingly in the film room, I’d bet.

Next season, that mentorship-type role for Dellavedova I’d expect to be the case involving KPJ to some extent, too, with Porter realistically appearing at the 1 at times in games for Bickerstaff and company. Porter is again a player with good passing feel, especially for naturally a score-first player and a 2.

Dellavedova, while never being the scoring presence Porter is, still could aid Porter in how he can help get teammates more involved in their sweet spots on the floor, and he could aid Porter in how he initiates ball-swings.

The same could hold true for Porter in potentially being able to hit lobs over the top to Nance, which is something Dellavedova does so well, along with hitting cutters.

Along with that playmaking/ball movement aspect, Delly could help Porter further progress as a team defender and in helping him take better angles to get through off-ball screens.

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Clearly, Dellavedova, who is a terrific locker room presence, too, is a player that I believe should be back next season, and he could aid KPJ more so with him set to at times play the 1.