The 30-year-old is still dealing with the effects of a concussion suffered during the preseason.
CLEVELAND — Despite reports to the contrary, a Cavaliers fan favorite says he isn’t going anywhere.
Guard Matthew Dellavedova took to Twitter Friday to deny rumors of his possible retirement from basketball. The 30-year-old has been dealing with the effects of a concussion suffered back on Dec. 12 during Cleveland’s first preseason game.
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“Retirement is not on my mind at all right now,” Dellavedova wrote. “Injuries are frustrating but it’s a temporary setback and I’m looking forward to coming back from this better than before.”
The Athletic reported this past week that Dellavedova’s recovery is “not going well” and that retirement is “on the table, if not likely” due to continued “problematic symptoms” from the head injury. The eight-year NBA veteran has a history of concussions, but is apparently motivated to keep playing due to the allure of representing his native Australia this summer at the Olympics.
Signed by the Cavs as an undrafted free agent out of St. Mary’s in 2013, “Delly” would become something of a folk hero in Cleveland after injuries to Kyrie Irving thrust him into the spotlight two years later. The gritty point guard helped the team reach the NBA Finals with his defense and hard play, and although they would lose to the Golden State Warriors, he won the hearts of millions with a 20-point performance in a Game 3 victory that took such a toll that he would need to go to the hospital for dehydration.
Dellavedova remained in the starting lineup for the first part of next season while Irving recovered, and wound up averaging 7.6 points and 4.7 assists per game on a Cavs team that won its first-ever NBA championship. He would sign a four-year contract with the Milwaukee Bucks that offseason, but later returned via trade to a rebuilding Cleveland squad in 2018.
Delly re-signed with the Cavs on a one-year contract for 2020-21, and was expected to be a backup to young stars Collin Sexton and Darius Garland. However, he has yet to play in a regular season game, and 26-year-old Damyean Dotson has emerged as a fine addition off the bench in his place.
Dellavedova and Kevin Love are the only remaining players from that 2016 title winner. The latter has appeared in just two games this season as he deals with a calf strain.