MATTHEW Dellavedova used to be a little known Australian guard with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers, now he has the world’s best basketballer as a teammate.
NBA superstar LeBron James announced on Saturday morning he would be returning home to Ohio to play for the Cavaliers, the team he sensationally left via free agency four years ago.
James will sign a four-year deal which reportedly starts with a $US20.7 million ($22 million) salary this season.
Dellavedova, a Maryborough basketball product, and other young members of the Cavaliers were in Las Vegas, doing their morning shoot around before the first game of their NBA summer league campaign when word rang out across the court that James had announced his homecoming.
Dellavedova said the announcement stunned the team.
“We found out at the end of shoot around and obviously everyone was pretty excited,” Dellavedova said from Las Vegas on Saturday afternoon.
The 29-year-old James has led Miami Heat to the past four NBA finals series winning two championships.
James’ arrival offers Dellavedova and the Cavs a chance at challenging for the championship, although the club’s young roster will face a steep learning curve to match it with the NBA’s best.
Dellavedova acknowledged the Cavs would become a major NBA drawcard with season tickets selling out within minutes of James’ announcement.
“Our media guy said it will be kind of crazy. I’m sure we will just focus on the summer league and what we need to do,” Dellavedova said.
“I think it’s exciting but we all have to improve as well.
“We can’t let him take the ball and hope for the best, our whole team has to make sure we pull our weight as well.
Dellavedova, who launched his career via Bendigo Junior Braves and the Australian Institute of Sport, also reiterated his desire to play for Australia at the basketball world cup in September and plans to return home for the Boomers camp later this month.