Earlier this week, Cleveland Cavaliers general manager David Griffin stated that he wanted to keep the team's core group intact heading into the 2016-17 season. This off-season, the team has a slew of free agents that they will have to make a decision to keep or not. The Cavs have already watched as Timofey Mozgov took a $64 million deal from the Lakers, but one of the biggest question marks is guard Matthew Dellavedova, who could get quite a pay day in free agency.
CBS Sports lists the man we call "Delly" as one of the most potentially overpaid free agents this off-season, but also one of the biggest steals. While that may seem quite hypocritical, two different writers wrote each of the articles, each providing their own arguments.
CBS's Eye on Basketball staff predicts that he will be overpaid, along with Evan Turner (Celtics), Hassan Whiteside (Heat), Dwight Howard (Rockets), Arron Afflalo (Knicks), Harrison Barnes (Warriors), DeMar DeRozan (Raptors), and Joakim Noah (Bulls).
Playing with LeBron James has obviously helped Dellavedova's career winning-wise and now it seems like it will also help him financially. According to ESPN's Brian Windhorst, Dellavedova may get a $10 million offer sheet. Considering that Corey Joseph got a four-year $7.5 million deal with the Raptors last season after being a third-string guard and coupled with the salary cap exploding, a $10 million offer sheet seems about right for Dellavedova.
Dellavedova's skill set -- energetic defense, solid-not-great shooter -- doesn't really scream a $10 million player. Yet this summer is going to be wild and Dellavedova will likely take full advantage of the craziness.
CBS' Matt Moore projects that Delly will be the second-biggest steal this off-season.
He's developed a reputation as a scrub, even looking the part. He's short, scruffy and consistently dances with dirty play. (Of note, watch the reactions of people to Draymond Green and Dellavedova. Even beyond fan allegiances, you get different reactions to each. You can like Draymond or Dellavedova, but not both, which is kind of hilarious.)
Does Dellavedova cross the line? Surely. But the behavior is prescribed as his entire skill set, and that's not the case. Dellavedova shot 41 percent from 3-point range and averaged 6.5 assists per 36 minutes. He's good at lobs and simple bounce passes, doesn't wildly force his way into traffic, searches for the right play and knocks down open shots.
In 2015-16, the 25-year-old Aussie averaged 7.5 points, 2.1 rebounds, and 4.4 assists per game (all of which are career-highs), along with shooting 40.5 percent from the field and 41 percent from beyond the arc in 76 regular season games (14 starts). Although he played himself out of the rotation in the Finals, Delly played a key role in the team's run last season and so far in his short career as the team's backup point guard behind Kyrie Irving.
Along with the salary cap rising considerably next season, with his best season in his short three-year career so far coming in the Cavaliers' championship campaign, Delly couldn't have planned it any better. Although he was just a role player, he is projected by many to receive at least $8-10 million per year in his next contract.
Due to the fact that the Cavs signed Dellavedova to a qualifying offer on Wednesday, he is now a restricted free agent meaning the wine and gold can match any offer given to the 6-foot-4, 198-pound guard. It seems as though Delly would love to stay in Cleveland where he has spent his all of his three-year NBA career so far, but money is money, and if he receives a big-time deal from another team, he will likely be on another team next season. But a quick reminder: Due to the fact that the Cavs are already over the salary cap, whatever salary they add on will be subject to the NBA's luxury tax. While it is unclear if Dellavedova will give the Cavs a hometown discount, it seems as though the Australian will have quite a pay day this offseason.