By Tom Withers
AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND — The NBA champion Cavaliers have made a qualifying offer to popular backup point guard Matthew Dellavedova, making him a restricted free agent.
Dellavedova is expected to draw interest from other teams once free agency begins, and depending on how much he’s offered, the Cavs could face a tough decision on whether to re-sign the Australian. The 25-year-old had a solid third season with Cleveland, averaging 7.5 points and 4.4 assists in 24.6 minutes per game.
However, his playing time dwindled during the NBA Finals as coach Tyronn Lue gave minutes to Mo Williams.
Dellavedova was vital for Cleveland during the finals a year ago when Kyrie Irving shattered his kneecap. The 6-foot-4 guard is a relentless defender, and star LeBron James joked during a rally last week that if Dellavedova was battling a bear for a loose ball that “Delly would tear that damn bear up.”