Cleveland Cavaliers guard, 25
Why he's interesting: The backup point guard scored big with Cavs fans during the team's run through the playoffs and into the NBA Finals last year when he got the chance to start in place of injured Kyrie Irving. Delly became a household name after a coffee-fueled 19-point performance that helped eliminate the Chicago Bulls, plus his clutch scoring and tough defense against Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry.
Monkey business: Dellavedova grew up in a small town in southeastern Australia, where sports were a big deal. So to compete — especially in his favorite sport of basketball — he worked out and even took to hanging from monkey bars. "I read one time that's what Michael Jordan did to grow taller. I was small and skinny, and it's helped me out because you have to play bigger than what you are."
Court moves: He set the career records at St. Mary's College of California in points, assists and 3-pointers. As an undrafted rookie, Dellavedova knew offense wasn't enough to make the NBA. "There are people getting paid a lot of money for that role. Early on I identified that the team needed more defensive intensity, ball movement and a bit more hustle."
Quick study: Off the court, Dellavedova enjoys nonfiction books and TED Talks. Even when discussing grittiness, something often used to describe his play, he cites a study from psychologist Angela Duckworth's TED Talk on connecting persistence and success. "Having grit allows you to continue to put in the time despite setbacks, failures, obstacles and roadblocks."
Toast master: One of Dellavedova's favorite spots in Cleveland is Restore Cold Pressed, where he gets the avocado toast. "I always go with the 2 with red pepper flakes."
Fan service: For Dellavedova, it's impossible not to feel the hopes and dreams of Cleveland fans as the Cavs try to end the city's 50-plus-year title drought. "It helps if you understand the history. It gives you a different perspective, and as players we should appreciate that because it's not like that everywhere else."
Java shot: Dellavedova's ritual pregame coffee breaks reached NBA pop culture status during the playoffs. "It's something I enjoy, and there are studies out there that say having coffee 60 minutes before an athletic performance increases your performance."