Australian shooting guard Matthew Dellavedova was not supposed to make a serious splash on the college level at St. Mary’s. But the guard from Victoria, Australia is the Gaels all-time leader in scoring, assists, games played, free throw percentage and three point shots.
Dellavedova was not supposed to make a real impact at the professional level. But he is. Dellavedova or Delly’ was not highly touted by any teams. Heck, he wasn’t even drafted in the second round by any team. And even after a mediocre summer league with the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Cavs kept him on their roster hoping he would become something and sure enough he has.
Delly’ went undrafted in the 2013 draft. Instead, with the 33rd pick in the draft, the Cavs took another shooting guard Carrick Felix, who will not make any impact on the NBA level this season. Back in early October, Cavs coach Mike Brown told the Cleveland Plain Dealer, "The reality of it is that Carrick right now is low man on the totem pole."
Delly’ was also once one of the lower men on the totem pole, but he is now contributing tons of production to the Cavs, so much so that one could wonder if he is the best shooting guard on the team. Better than Dion Waiters.
Delly does a lot for the Cavs when he is on the floor. He stretches the defense with his shooting ability, but also is one of the few players in the Cavs backcourt that doesn’t need the ball in his hand at all times. With Delly’ on the floor the Cavs shoot 39.5 percent from the 20-24 foot range, with him off the court, they shoot only 35.3 percent. With Delly’ on the floor the Cavs shoot 44.4 percent from the 15-19 foot range verses a mere 38.4 percent with him off the floor. The Cavs also shoot a better percentage near the rim with him on the floor than with him off the floor.
Dion Waiters, whose ceiling in his career appears to be a third guard on a championship level team, a mere heat check guy, does not seem so happy in Cleveland and could be shipped out soon. In almost 30 minutes of play Waiters averages only 25.8 passes per game. Delly’ on the other hand averages 17.5 passes in about 16 minutes of play. Per 48 minutes, Delly’ would create 11.7 points off of assists, a higher total than what Waiters would bring per 48 minutes.
In the big picture, the Cavs are better with Delly on the floor as a team than without him. The Cavs as a team have a minus 6.0 differential overall per 100 possessions whereas with Delly on the floor they have a plus 0.4 net rating per 100 possessions.
Last night against the Hawks, Dellavedova played 24 minutes the fourth most among the Cavs guard, but took all of Alonzo Gee’s minutes. The Cleveland offense would score 123 points per 100 possessions if Dellavedova was on the floor the entire time, a total that would top the league if compared to the league’s best totals. For now Delly’ is used like the Cavs second best two-guard, but he is a better fit in the long run than Waiters is.