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NBA Cavaliers' Summer League Profile: Matthew Dellavedova

Las Vegas Summer League kicks off tomorrow, and this weekend I'll be writing some features on the lesser known Summer League participants. First is Matthew Dellavedova.


One of the more memorable players in the entire NCAA this season was Matthew Dellavedova of Saint Mary's in California. Known most for a trademark mouthguard and an ability to hit clutch shots at the most opportune times, Dellavedova was the biggest piece of an NCAA tournament team this year that was about a foot from going into the third round had Dellavedova been able to make one final last-second heave against Memphis.

Here's a pretty good highlight tape of two of Dellavedova's biggest games this season: the tip-off game against Northern Iowa and the buzzer-beating 35 footer he hit at BYU:

Matthew Dellavedova - Australia's Brightest Prospect (via TJB3099)

Maybe the most experienced collegiate player in the country this year, Dellavedova started for Australia's Olympic team in 2012. During the group stage, he averaged about 29 minutes, 8.2 points, 5.6 assists and 3.2 rebounds per game while shooting 33% from the field and 41% from three-point range. Those are pretty impressive stats for a 22 year-old in a best-on-best international competition, and they pretty accurately display the skills that Dellavedova has right now.

Now 23, Dellavedova is a great ball-handler and an exceptional passer. Possessing every single pass in the book, from the simple no-look to an off-hand, cross-court bounce pass, he's averaged 6.4 assists at Saint Mary's each of his last two seasons. His court vision is a skill that will absolutely translate to any level he plays, and the two WCC Assist crowns that he holds statistically shows this.

To top that off, he's smart with the ball and doesn't turn it over despite a high usage rate. Over his career, Dellavedova possessed a 2.25 assist-to-turnover ratio. This season, his 2.28 assist-to-turnover ratio was fourth in DraftExpress's database. Given this, it's unsurprising that he's excellent in the pick-and-roll. Synergy had him at 1.12 points per possession when running the pick-and-roll as of February, which shows both his intelligence and his instincts.

He's also a drastically better shooter than his collegiate percentages indicate. Even though his three-point percentage got worse as his career went on, that's not really worrisome. Dellavedova became much more of a focal point of his team's offense throughout his career. Because of this, he started receiving more defensive attention and starting getting fewer spot-up opportunities. When Dellavedova has his feet set, he's pretty much deadly, and he showed that in the Olympics' small sample size. Plus, he knows what he's good at, and takes mostly threes. Despite only shooting 40% from the field this season, his 56% TS% was good enough for 10th in the WCC. His range is NBA-ready.

Basically, Dellavedova was the most important part of an offense that averaged 1.15 points per possession, which was good for fourth in the country. Having said that, it's not a totally rosy outlook. His athleticism is below-average for the NBA, so he'll have to get by on his smarts. He'll never be much of a scorer at the rim, and he might struggle to get past defenders in order to break down the defense around him and create openings for his teammates. Plus, even though he's a willing defender, I'm not sure he's strong enough to body up NBA point guards or quick enough laterally to stay in front of them.


Your question is probably whether or not he can make this team. That depends a lot on whether or not you believe that the Cavaliers will carry three point guards. I'm not sure, just because we know that Dion Waiters can handle some point guard duties as well.

However, if they do end up with three point guards, there are few better options than Dellavedova. He can probably play offense in the NBA right now because of his skill running the pick-and-roll and ability to spot up and shoot the ball. Plus, because of his 6'4" frame you might be able to get away with him in a two-point guard lineup. That would give him more spot-up chances to take advantage of his shot. He's an interesting option that the Cavs could continue to develop. I like him as a player more than Carrick Felix, and he could probably parlay an excellent summer league showing into a semi-guaranteed contract in the NBA -- be it with the Cavaliers or someone else.

(statistics taken from and