2020-21 was tough for Matthew Dellavedova, but Cavs fans are grateful for his efforts

Last season was one that Matthew Dellavedova would like to have back, as he wasn’t able to provide the game-to-game impact one would’ve hoped, nor he would’ve for the Cleveland Cavaliers.

Dellavedova suffered a severe concussion in Cleveland’s preseason opener, and with him having previously endured concussions in his career, it took him an extended period to be able to get back in game shape. And then in another tough bout of injury luck, Dellavedova in late February had to have an emergency appendectomy, and that had to have quite the blow for him, as he was reportedly on the right track to get back.

Overall, Dellavedova was only able to play in 13 games last season, and though he made his presence felt as a reserve playmaker with 4.5 assists per outing in 17.2 minutes per appearance, how the year panned out was disheartening as a Cavs fan, quite frankly.

When Delly was finally getting himself seemingly right in bench minutes, he ended up having to miss the closing batch of games for Cleveland due to a neck strain suffered on April 25 at the Washington Wizards. Again, his season was so injury-riddled.

On a positive note though, Dellavedova made his presence felt for Cleveland in two postseason runs back in 2015 and 2016 to the NBA Finals, and after he was traded back to Cleveland by the Milwaukee Bucks in December of 2018, was able to help out in his playing time.

Now in regards to next season, with Dellavedova’s injury troubles, and his shooting woes the past two seasons, it did appear he wouldn’t be back in 2021-22; Dellavedova was set to be an unrestricted free agent.

It was nice to hear though that Delly, who is set to play in his third Olympics with his native Australia in Tokyo, reportedly signed with Melbourne United of the NBL, per ESPN’s Olgun Uluc. It’s reportedly via three-year deal.

This is cool for Delly, a player who was a Cavs fan favorite for his efforts and hustling style.

Dellavedova has always been a team-first guy, through and through, and his efforts, both as a great passer in rotational minutes, as a team defender and in getting after loose balls will be something I’ll never forget in regards to his time as a Cavalier.

Now Delly was never much of a scoring presence in his career, with 5.5 points per outing overall in eight seasons, but when he was in there, particularly for the Cavs in rotational minutes, he was such a gifted ball-mover. He had a robust 7.9 assists per-36 minutes in 2019-20, and in his career with Cleveland, that clip was 6.4 assists per-36 minutes.

In any case, this recent news from the aforementioned Uluc is great to hear for Delly, who will be joining a Melbourne squad that has won two of the past three NBL championships, as Chris Fedor of Cleveland.com pointed out.

I wish him the best of luck in his time ahead in his home country, and although I’ll be pulling for Team USA in the upcoming Summer Olympics in Tokyo, I do hope Delly and his Australia squad makes their presence felt there.

Circling back a bit though, while it wasn’t the closing season, at least seemingly regarding his time with the Cavaliers, he would’ve wanted, Cavs fans will always be so grateful for Delly’s efforts in his time with the Wine and Gold.

He, along with still-current Cavs big Kevin Love, who will be competing with Team USA in the Olympics, were the last Cavs players left that were members of the 2016 Cleveland title team that came back from a 3-1 deficit over the Golden State Warriors, which has been the only time in NBA history that’s happened in the NBA Finals.

Moreover, us Cavaliers fans again wish you the best of luck over in the NBL, Delly. We’ll always be more than grateful for your efforts for the Wine and Gold, and with you how helped mentor Darius Garland and Collin Sexton in recent years.