Matthew Dellavedova is back; NBA Champion signs deal with Kings
The pride of Australia is back on the NBA circuit. PIC: John W. McDonough, Sports Illustrated
Matthew Dellavedova signed with the Sacramento Kings on a one-year deal. Terms aren’t yet available, but it’s generally believed that this will be a minimum contract of sorts.
Dellavedova made an instant impact in his first NBA stint. The Australian was recruited heavily by St. Mary’s, and as a freshman the Gaels turned heads by going to the Sweet 16. Delly was drafted by the Cavs, for whom Mike Brown was calling the shots as the Head Coach, and he immediately contributed, racking up 21 points in a game against the Pistons as a rookie.
Take a look at his 20-point performance in Game 3 of the 2015 NBA Finals.
Delly’s career wasn’t without its polarizing topics, however. As time went on, and as his game grew, he became a more aggressive player, known for his pressure-style defense. He won an award from a Sports Illustrated Poll that some embrace, but most dread: the NBA’s Dirtiest Player.
A coach went as far as to say “He's as dirty as they come. When you’re hurting people, that is not OK.”
Despite some good publicity over the years, Delly isn’t one that will be lauded for his stats. A career 5.5ppg shooter, he never was awarded more than 26 minutes-per-game.
Sacramento is undergoing plenty of changes at the moment. They brought back Mike Brown as the head coach, who spent the last 7 seasons winning three championships at Golden State as Steve Kerr’s number two. Three-point specialist Kevin Huerter was swapped by Atlanta for Mo Harkless, Justin Holliday, and a pick…instantly giving Sacramento some more shooting help. The Kings shipped 2021 first-rounder Tyrese Halliburton, former Oklahoma standout-turned-role player Buddy Hield, and declining forward Tristan Thompson to grab powerhouse center Domantas Sabonis and Jeremy Lamb.
As it stands, this is the Sacramento depth chart for 2022-23.
Expected Depth: Sacramento Kings 2022-23
1: De’Aaron Fox, Davion Mitchell, Matt Dellavedova
2: Kevin Huerter, Malik Monk, Terence Davis
3: Harrison Barnes, Chima Moneke
4: Keegan Murray, Trey Lyles, Chimezie Metu
5: Domantas Sabonis, Richuan Holmes
I certainly think this is an improvement from last year, but the depth is obviously the big concern. Is rookie Keegan Murray ready to give them 30+ minutes per game? Are Chima Moneke, Trey Lyles, and Richuan Holmes going to be reliable enough to provide solid bench minutes? And, obviously, in what condition will Matt Dellavedova arrive in the preseason? I think this could be worth a flier, especially because he has history with Mike Brown, but we'll see what happens here.