The Cleveland Cavaliers appear to have their backcourt of the future in Darius Garland and Collin Sexton and while we don’t quite know what their collective ceiling is as of yet, what we do know is that they can co-exist.
Behind those two up-and-comers is fan favorite: Matthew Dellavedova. “Delly” as he is affectionally referred to by coaches and fans alike, has likely already ingrained himself in the minds of Cavs fans the world over for his “gritty” play on the court.
While he has been known for his defensive tenacity in years past, Dellavedova has largely impressed with his playmaking in his limited time on the court thus far this season.
Averaging a career high 5.0 assists per game through his seven appearances including one start, he has shown the ability to anchor the second unit in spurts and is often seen commanding the offense. It’s this ability that could make him worth holding onto for the next few seasons.
For a team largely devoid of playmaking off the bench, re-signing Dellavedova should be a no-brainer this upcoming offseason.
Seven games is an extremely small sample size but there is no reason to believe that Delly can’t provide high-caliber playmaking for the remainder of the season. It’s worth noting that he has dished out no fewer than five assists in all but two of those contests.
Although the Australian doesn’t contribute much in the scoring department, he more than makes up for that deficiency with his ability to get others involved and his aforementioned defensive tenacity.
The Cleveland-based team is currently receiving a +7.4 boost to their offensive rating (105.0 to 112.4) when Dellavedova is on the floor. That’s not by coincidence. This is a player who knows who he is and what his role is.
As the second-longest tenured Cleveland Cavaliers player, he along with fellow 2016 NBA champion Kevin Love, can be a bridge to the next era in Cleveland basketball.
At just 30 years old, Dellavedova is still young enough to contribute for years to come and while he doesn’t quite fit the timeline of the rebuild, he can help facilitate it and assist in the development of Sexton, Garland and others. His game isn’t predicated off of athleticism and if he is able to remain healthy, he should age gracefully.
It’s worth mentioning that Delly has never appeared in more than 76 games during any season in his career. This is a risk that the Cavs should be more than willing to take, however.
Cleveland already has most of its “core” under contract through the 2021-22 season and of their free agents following this season, Dellavedova could easily be the cheapest to bring back.
We already know that Jarrett Allen should be set to be locked up via sizable contract, seemingly per reports/rumors. Also, the team must start planning towards the extensions of both Sexton, who could reportedly be locked up his upcoming offseason, and Garland.
That means that they almost certainly will try to work out a team friendly deal with the fan favorite in Delly. Conversely, Dellavedova is currently playing on a deal that pays him under $2.2 million and he may be seeking his last considerable payday.
The goodwill between the two may be enough to get the job done, though, and I wouldn’t imagine re-signing the veteran would cost much, if the Cavs decided to pursue that this upcoming offseason.
It’s clear that he loves the city of Cleveland and the city has embraced him in return but if this is the last season that we see Delly in wine and gold, let’s hope that the team can send him off on a high note with a trip to the playoffs.