With Jarrett Jack likely to spend a good deal of time backing up the shooting guard slot, the Cavs will need another guard to back up Kyrie Irving and to provide protection against injury. Especially given that both Irving and Dion Waiters spent extended periods on the Injured Reserve last season. An interesting player that played for the Cavs in the Las Vegas Summer League and was invited to fall training camp is Matthew Delladova.
Dellavedova is a 22 year old, 6’4” point guard from Maryborough, Austrailia. “Delly” spent four years re-writing the record books at St.Mary’s College of California. He would offer the Cavs a point guard with size to defend bigger guards, he is an excellent ball distributor and has the range to knock down NBA three pointers.
The Cleveland Cavalier’s hopeful, certainly has impressive metrics. He is the school’s all-time leader in career points, assists, 3-pointers made, free throw percentage at .860, games started and games played. The Gaels registered an impressive 105-28 record with four year starter Dellavedova running the offense. He proved to be adept at finding the open man, as each of his four season assist totals rank in the top 10 all-time West Coast Conference single-season assist records.
His performance on the court led to “Delly” being named the WCC Player of the Year in 2012. He was voted a first-team all-WCC selection by league coaches for the third-straight year. Perhaps the best testimony of Delladova’s skills was being names as a finalist for the Bob Cousy Award, given to the nation’s top point guard. He is the first male athlete at Saint Mary’s to earn first-team Capital One® Academic All-America honors, to go along with making the WCC All-Academic Team for the third straight year.
In 2013, “Delly” started all six games for the Australian National Team at the 2012 London Olympics, leading the Boomers to the tournament quarterfinals with averages of 7.3 points, 3.8 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game. He finished 12th among all Olympians in assists per game, in spite of being the youngest member of the 12-man Australian National Team. While in London, he got to face off against NBA players Chris Paul, Kobe Bryant, Tony Parker, Jose Calderon and Leon Barbosa. He is a four-year member of the Australian National team.
Regardless of his accomplishments, and the notoriety gained from his play, the perception Delladova would be too slow to defend the NBA’s lightning quick guards was reinforced when his name was not called on NBA draft day. However, he has an invitation to October training camp with the Cavs for a shot at the third guard slot with the rebuilding franchise. Mike Brown appears to like “Delly’s” team first attitude and the work ethic he demonstrated while playing for the Cavs summer league team. I don’t think the Cavs would be paying for him to come to Cleveland if he didn’t have a realistic chance of earning a roster slot.
In many ways, he reminds me of a poor man’s Mark Price, but with size. He’s has great court sense and vision, is a good ball distributor, shoots a free throws at a high percentage, has good three point range and makes smart decisions with the ball. Wither or not he is quick enough to defend NBA point guards will be tested in training camp, but there are many players holding roster spots on NBA teams where defensive is not their strength. I am rooting for Delladova to make the Cavs roster and become a contributor.