Matthew Dellavedova may soon be reunited with LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Australian point guard has been in limbo for a month after the team only offered him a bargain basement $US1.15 million to return, but the club moved itself into a better financial position on Sunday to up their offer.
Dellavedova, after becoming the Cavaliers’ surprise hero in last season’s run to the NBA Finals, has reportedly asked for $US4 million a year.
The Cavaliers offloaded little-used centre Brendan Haywood and three-point specialist Mike Miller to the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday.
The moved slashed the team’s luxury tax bill from $US32 million to $US5 million.
The Cavaliers’ bloated payroll came after the team recently re-signed James to a two-year $US47 million deal, forward Kevin Love to five years ($US110 million) and guard Iman Shumpert for four years ($US40 million).
General manager David Griffin has repeatedly said he wants Dellavedova and two other unsigned members of last season’s team, power forward Tristan Thompson and guard JR Smith, back in Cleveland.
Dellavedova earned $US816,000 last year.
The Cavaliers have just 10 players signed to their 15-man roster for 2015/16.
There were reports the Trail Blazers were interested in Dellavedova, who proved himself to be an aggressive, lockdown defensive guard in the playoffs.
However, in the final three games of the Finals against the victorious Golden State Warriors the Victorian was off-target offensively.
The Cavaliers have filled some of their backup guard needs by signing veteran Mo Williams.