Dellavedova returns to NBL with eye to fourth Olympics
Matthew Dellavedova will return to the NBL with Melbourne, where he hopes a big role will pave the way to a fourth Olympic campaign.
The long-time Boomers guard has signed a two-year deal to rejoin Melbourne United, where he won a minor premiership in a one-off season between NBA stints in 2021-22.
The 32-year-old won an NBA championship with Cleveland in 2016 and won a spot in Sacramento's roster last year, playing a veteran's role as the Kings ended a 16-year play-offs drought.
For years one of the first-picked Boomers alongside Patty Mills and Joe Ingles, the tenacious playmaker faces a huge battle to retain his place for this year's World Cup and the 2024 Paris Games.
The emergence of Josh Giddey and Dyson Daniels, as well as the further improvement of Josh Green has added incredible depth to an Australian side eyeing bigger things after a breakthrough Olympic bronze medal in Tokyo.
Throw in versatile talents Matisse Thybulle, Dante Exum and Will McDowell-White and Dellavedova has a fight on his hands to survive the cut when Brian Goorjian's 18-man squad becomes 12 for the World Cup in August.
Dellavedova played just 213 minutes across the NBA season for the Kings and thinks a return to Australia will enable him to remain in the Boomers' picture.
"With the World Cup this year, then the Olympics next year, I feel like it's best for me to play a lot," Dellavedova told ESPN.
"I really loved my year in Sacramento .. it was really fun helping them get back into the playoffs. But I really want to play as well."
United coach Dean Vickerman said Dellavedova's return would make everyone around him better.
"There are so many things that Delly brings to the table," he said in a club statement.
"It starts with his competitiveness and his grit to just want to win. You never feel like you're out of a game when you've got him on the floor.
"He's a leader by actions, diving on the floor, winning loose-ball possessions, taking charges, and by his play, we saw he can really get hot with his three-ball and ability to score."
Dellavedova will reunite with past teammates in Chris Goulding, Shea Ili, Jo Lual-Acuil, Ariel Hukporti and Brad Newley and joins Luke Travers, Tanner Krebs, Flynn Cameron, Kyle Bowen as fully rostered players .