Dellavedova: Bond with Cavs will last forever

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Matthew Dellavedova admitted leaving the NBA champion Cavaliers for the playoff-hungry Bucks wasn't easy.

"Leaving Cleveland was tough because I had a great three years there and they gave me my first opportunity," Dellavedova told ESPN.

"Winning the title is going to give you a bond with those guys for life, and the way the city embraced me made leaving even harder."

Dellavedova initially agreed to a free-agent contract with the Bucks -- and Cavs general manager David Griffin made it official via a sign-and-trade arrangement.

(In return, the Cavs received the rights to Spanish big man Albert Miralles and cash considerations.)

"But I'm excited about the opportunity in Milwaukee, especially to step into a bit more of a leadership role," Dellavedova told ESPN.

"Obviously at Cleveland we had Kyrie [Irving] being the point guard which puts a ceiling on what you can achieve."

Dellavedova, 25, averaged 7.5 points and 4.4 points in 76 games last season, his third in the NBA (all with the Cavs).

"Delly is a special person on and off the court and was a very dedicated, hard worker that grew as part of our team and made significant contributions to our success," Griffin said.

"Our coaches and his teammates will always appreciate his 'all in' approach to the game, as he was ready to contribute whenever his number was called. We know he will continue to grow and succeed as he takes the next steps of his NBA journey with the Bucks."