The Los Angeles Lakers have made some key moves this offseason and the team nearly added some championship experience in former LeBron James teammate Matthew Dellavedova.
The Lakers reportedly showed interest in “Delly,” per Marc Stein of the New York Times. However, Dellavedova ended up staying put and re-signing with the Cleveland Cavaliers, where he has played the majority of his career. The deal was for the veteran minimum, per multiple reports.
“Word is that the Lakers gave Dellavedova some consideration for one of their last open roster spots,” Stein wrote on Twitter. “But the Aussie guard will be extending his second stint with the Cavaliers to a third season.”
Dellavedova would not crack the regular rotation, but has earned a reputation as a solid locker roomer presence and can provide some hustle minutes when called upon. He holds career averages of 5.6 points and 3.7 assists in 20.4 minutes per game.
Dellavedova gained notoriety for his role on the LeBron James-led Cavaliers teams. He started 14 games that season, playing 24.6 minutes per game and 7.5 points.
Lakers Improve Roster After Championship Season
The Lakers have been busy this offseason, with the widespread belief being that the roster is much improved from when they won the title a year ago. LeBron James and Anthony Davis are set to be the stellar centerpieces once again, albeit Davis is adding suspense to what is expected to be a max-level extension.
Wes Matthews, Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell and Marc Gasol were all huge addition to the roster this offseason through free agency and trades. On top of that, the team also found a way to keep Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Markieff Morris on board, re-signing both.
Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka talked about the complacency that can follow a championship while speaking to reporters recently. But the moves indicate that the franchise has avoided that completely.
“I think it’s easy to fall into complacency when you win a title and to just say, ‘Hey, let’s just run it back,’” Pelinka told reporters. “But at the same time, I think my school of thinking is always, let’s find ways we can become even better, every offseason let’s get better. I think we never want to just settle.”
Montrezl Harrell Pumped to Swap Sides in LA Rivalry
Harrell might have been the most surprising deal, with the high-energy big man swapping Staples Center occupants after spending the last three years of his career with the Clippers.
Harrell is the reigning Sixth Man of the Year and averaged career highs in points (18.6) and rebounds (7.1) last season. He’s excited to get a chance to produce for a championship-level squad who wanted him.
“I feel that if you spend your career in any place long enough, you’re going to want to still keep playing there and keep growing there,” Harrell told reporters on Monday. “So, of course I still have great respect for those guys and for that organization. But like I said, as far as they wanted me back, obviously it doesn’t seem that way, does it?
“This is my job, and I’m blessed to be on a team that was strong enough and deep enough and have the talent enough to win the championship last year. So me just coming to the mix, I’m just trying to do anything I can to help them get back to that same place. Seeing as I wasn’t there last year and they won it, I’m just trying to come in and do what I can to help to repeat.”