Melbourne United have announced the signing of Australian basketball superstar Matthew Dellavedova on a three-year deal.
The 30-year-old has played eight seasons in the NBA after going undrafted in 2013, amassing almost 450 NBA games at the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Milwaukee Bucks.
The Maryborough native won the 2016 NBA Championship with the Cleveland Cavaliers, playing a key role on the defensive end against Stephen Curry and other star guards.
Dellavedova has also represented Australia at both the London and Rio Olympics as well as at the past two FIBA World Cups.
Dellavedova said: ” 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.”
Melbourne United Head Coach Dean Vickerman said: “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.”
“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.”
Melbourne United has also agreed to terms that would allow Dellavedova to continue to consider opportunities within the NBA via the upcoming free agency period.
“I want to thank the club for being flexible and giving me the opportunity to explore NBA opportunities in free agency.” 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.”
Hungry Jack’s NBL Commissioner Jeremy Loeliger said: “This is one of the biggest signings in NBL history and we are absolutely delighted to welcome Matthew Dellavedova to the league.
“Delly is one of the greats of our game and is also one of the most well respected and liked figures in the Australian basketball community. Still an NBA level talent, the fact he wants to return home and continue his career here is a massive endorsement of the NBL and our standing as one of the world’s best leagues outside of the NBA.
“Delly follows the footsteps of other Australian NBA players who have returned home to the NBL to continue their careers. The NBL is now not only a pathway to the NBA but also a pathway home for Australia’s greats such as Delly and Andrew Bogut, who are laying the foundations for more Australian NBA players to have NBL homecomings.
“We can’t wait to see John Cain Arena and other stadiums across the country sold out to watch Delly play with Melbourne United this forthcoming season.”
The two-time Olympian is currently preparing with his new teammate Chris Goulding and the other Australian Boomers in Las Vegas, as the team pursues a medal at the Tokyo Olympics later this month.