Australian Boomer Matthew Dellavedova joins NBL champions Melbourne United from Cleveland Cavaliers
Matthew Dellavedova has agreed to sign a three-year deal with Melbourne United in the NBL.
Dellavedova, an eight-year NBA veteran, is coming off a second stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers and is currently with the Australian Boomers ahead of the national team’s Tokyo Olympics campaign.
Matthew Dellavedova will return to his home state of Victoria. Nic Antaya for The Boston Globe via Getty Images
The signing will see Dellavedova return to his home state of Victoria, taking over United’s starting point guard spot left vacant by Mitch McCarron, who sources say has signed a three-year deal with the Adelaide 36ers.
Over his NBA career, Dellavedova averaged 5.5 points and 3.7 assists per game, beginning his time in Cleveland after going undrafted in 2013, and winning a championship as part of the LeBron James-led team in 2016. Immediately after winning a title with the Cavaliers, Dellavedova was signed-and-traded to the Milwaukee Bucks, only to be dealt back to Cleveland, where he played the next three seasons.
Dellavedova’s last two seasons in the NBA were interrupted by injuries, most notably a persistent concussion issue that kept him out of a significant portion of his 2020-21 campaign.
United has agreed to terms that would allow him to explore opportunities within the NBA via the upcoming free agency period.
“I am really excited to sign with Melbourne United and come back to the NBL. It’s a great team with a winning culture and some great teammates that I’ve loved playing with in the past for the Boomers,” Dellavedova said.
“Melbourne is close to family and my hometown of Maryborough, and I have always wanted to come back here and play at some point. I’m glad to make the announcement today that when that time comes, I’ll be pulling on a United jersey.
“The NBL is a quality league that continues to evolve and has a lot of respect around the world - I’m excited for the challenge and continuing to help grow the game of basketball in Australia.
“For now, there is one focus - the Boomers and winning a Gold Medal.”
The 30-year-old guard will join a United team that’s coming off an NBL championship; the franchise’s second over the last four years. Dellavedova will give United an all-Boomers backcourt, alongside the team’s star shooting guard, Chris Goulding.
Dellavedova’s impending arrival in Melbourne is the NBL’s most significant signing since Andrew Bogut joined the Sydney Kings in 2018.
He joins Goulding, Shea Ili, Jo Lual Acuil Jr, Jack White, Mason Peatling, David Barlow, the newly-signed Brad Newley, and Zac Triplett (development player) on United’s roster for the 2021-22 NBL season.
““It is huge, for our sport, for this league and for our club. To have Delly back home in Victoria, playing in front of the Melbourne United fans, I think it is something that we should all be really excited about,” United coach Dean Vickerman said.
“He’s going to bring everything that we are looking for in that position. Elite-level competitiveness, hustle, grit, grind and passion. He is also an excellent facilitator, with his ability to pass the basketball he will make everyone else around him even better.”
The Illawarra Hawks also made a significant move, re-signing guard Tyler Harvey to a new three-year deal, sources said. Harvey, the NBL’s third leading scorer over the 2020-21 season, was a priority for the Hawks this off-season after finishing among the finalists for the league’s MVP award.
Over in Adelaide, the 36ers are in advanced talks with Dusty Hannahs for the upcoming NBL season, sources said. The sharp-shooting combo guard, who last played with the Santa Cruz Warriors in the NBA G-League, received interest from multiple teams across the NBL, but is closing in on a new deal with the 36ers.
The 36ers have also re-signed Isaac Humphries to a one-year deal, sources said, keeping the star Australian big-man after injury interrupted his otherwise impressive 2020-21 season.
The New Zealand Breakers are also remaining among the most active teams in free agency, signing France’s Hugo Besson to a three-year deal, sources said. Besson will join the Breakers as an import.
Peyton Siva has also signed with the Breakers for the upcoming NBL season, sources said, while the team is close to a new deal with Tai Webster. Siva is coming off a five-year stint with Germany’s Alba Berlin.
In Sydney, the Kings have signed Wani Swaka Lo Buluk as a replacement player for the injured Dejan Vasiljevic, sources said.
Jarell Martin to return to Sydney Kings next season
Jarell Martin and the Sydney Kings have both exercised their mutual option for the 2021-22 NBL season, sources told ESPN.
Martin, a 6'10 big-man, was one of the most productive players over the course of the 2020-21 NBL season, averaging 17.9 points and 7.0 rebounds in under 27 minutes per game, while shooting 40 percent down beyond the three-point line.
The opt-in from both parties comes a day after the Kings announced the signing of Chase Buford as head coach on a multi-year deal.
Negotiations remain ongoing on NBA outs that would give Martin flexibility should he earn a spot on an NBA roster for training camp, sources said.
NBL Free Agency will begin on Monday, sources said, though teams are permitted to re-sign players and exercise options leading into that date. NBL teams are working with the expectation that the league’s import limit will return to three for next season, sources said.
Martin, 27, played three seasons with the Grizzlies, averaging 7.7 points, 4.4 rebounds, and 1.0 assists per game over the 2017-18 season, before being traded to the Orlando Magic. Martin was part of the Grizzlies when current Kings CEO, Chris Pongrass, served as the franchise’s Director of Basketball Operations.
Jarell Martin of the Kings has excercised his mutual option for 2021-22. Matt King/Getty Images
The Baton Rouge native attended Louisiana State University before being taken with the 25th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft. After a four-year career in the NBA, Martin signed with the G-League’s Rio Grande Valley Vipers for the 2019-20 season, before the COVID-19 pandemic led to its cancellation.
Martin will join Shaun Bruce, Jordan Hunter, Dejan Vasiljevic, Angus Glover, and Biwali Bayles as contracted players on the Kings’ roster going into Free Agency.
Rookie of the year favourite Dejan Vasiljevic suffers season-ending injury as Kings losing streak against Perth continues
This week on The Basketball Show the team dive into Adam Forde’s referee blast, Space Jam 2, how the top NBL and WNBL teams would stack up against the NCAA’s elite, and much more!
This week on The Basketball Show the team dive into Adam Forde’s referee blast, Space Jam 2, how the top NBL and WNBL teams would stack up against the NCAA’s elite, and much m…
The Sydney Kings’ finals hopes have copped a hit with rookie of the year favourite Dejan Vasiljevic suffering a season-ending ruptured achilles injury in another loss to the Perth Wildcats.
The Kings’ woes against the Wildcats continued, with star guard Bryce Cotton scoring 23 points to steer the reigning champions to a thrilling 73-69 win.
Perth has now won five in a row against Sydney dating back to last year’s grand final series.
The Wildcats have also won nine straight to remain ladder leaders.
For Sydney, a disappointing loss was compounded by Vasiljevic’s injury.
The Canadian-born shooting guard limped off midway through the second quarter with what looked like an achilles injury and he didn’t return.
Vasiljevic sat on the bench in the second half with ice on his lower leg, while he was also carrying crutches.
The Kings rookie will have scans to determine the extent of the injury, but he is expected to be sidelined for an extended period of time.
Sydney coach Adam Forde confirmed Vasiljevic wouldn’t play again this season.
“It is a full rupture, so we are organising surgery for him now,” Forde said.
“I’m absolutely gutted for him, but he is mentally tough.
“He has had a massive (impact), and not just for what he does on the court, but how he is as a teammate.
“He is fantastic and extremely coachable, so it is a massive hit.”
Vasiljevic’s injury is a bitter blow for Sydney given his blistering maiden NBL season.
He has been one of the Kings’ most consistent performers, averaging 16.1 points, 1.9 assists and 3.75 rebounds.
Vasiljevic also created history as the first Kings rookie to ever lead the team in scoring in a game three straight times.
Unfortunately, Sydney will have to fight on without their rising guard for some time.
Following the Perth defeat, the Kings have slumped to fifth position ahead of two crucial clashes against the South East Melbourne Phoenix on Sunday and next Thursday.
MARTIN ON NBA RADAR
Kings big man Jarell Martin has played 189 NBA games for Memphis and Orlando and he will return to the world’s best league if he continues his impressive form.
Martin had nine first-quarter points and four rebounds before finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds in another standout display.
The only criticism of the big man was his three first-half fouls, which forced him off the court at a crucial time for Sydney as Perth surged back to take the lead into the halftime break.
Martin, though, is all class and is worthy of another chance in the NBA.
Casper Ware was also enormous for the Kings with 20 points, while Brazilian and New Orleans draft prospect Didi Louzada had 13 points, including seven to open the fourth quarter.
MOONEY’S THE MAN
Perth’s import forward John Mooney insists he “doesn’t care” that he isn’t eligible to win the NBL’s rookie of the year award.
Good on him for being honest, but he deserves to be in the running based on his scintillating form.
The 23-year-old Baltimore native, who leads the league in rebounds, continued his hot run with another outstanding display against the Kings.
Mooney had 15 points and four rebounds in the first half before finishing with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
The dominant performance helped him claim the man-of-the-match honours.