NBA Rumor: Wesley Matthews Free Agency

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Houston native and Kansas State product Iwundu was so thrilled about coming to terms on a two-year contract with the Mavericks that when reached by The News he sounded as though he was in disbelief. That will happen when you’ve spent your three-year NBA career with a smaller-market, fringe-playoff team like Orlando and suddenly you’re back in your home state, playing for the 2011 NBA championship franchise you watched while growing up. “That’s number one, just being from Texas, but also going to a team like this is pretty big,” he said. “It’s a different ballgame. It’s contenders, man. I’m so excited that I can’t put it into words.”

With the trade moratorium lifting on Monday, the draft on Wednesday and free-agency kicking off on Friday, the Bucks have a bevy of huge decisions to make over the coming week. They’re already over the $109.1 million salary-cap threshold with only eight of 15 players signed for next year, not including center Robin Lopez who is mulling a $5 million player option. Getting Matthews back would be a major boost in solidifying the Bucks’ core for the 2020-21 season. However, doing so could seriously hamstring their opportunities for bringing in other free agents unless Matthews is willing to come back on a minimum deal. Matthews’ play last year, though, proved he is certainly more valuable than a bargain-bin contract. He bet on himself and he’s in a position to cash in, which is at once great for him and a challenging situation for the Bucks if they’re hoping to bring him back.
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Since Durant is expected to miss all of next season after rupturing his right Achilles tendon against Toronto in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, the Warriors still considered it a priority to sign wing players. Such candidates could include Wesley Matthews and Trevor Ariza, though such signings hinge on them willing to accept a pay cut. The Warriors had considered Rudy Gay as a top target, but he reportedly agreed to a two-year, $32 million deal to stay with the San Antonio Spurs.

The Indiana Pacers announced Sunday they have signed free agent guard Wesley Matthews to a contract. Per team policy, the terms of the contract were not released. Matthews appeared in 45 games and made 44 starts for the Dallas Mavericks and New York Knicks this season while averaging 12.8 points, 2.3 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game. After spending parts of four seasons with the Mavericks, he was traded to New York on Jan. 31 before being waived by the Knicks Thursday.

However, Fizdale said he feels Jordan — and even the defensive-minded Matthews — can have a future with the Knicks. Even if the Knicks use up their cap space on mega free agents, they could offer Jordan, a two-time all-defensive selection and former All-Star, their $5 million room exception. “Both of those guys have played some [playoff] series on some really good basketball teams,” Fizdale said. “And who knows what the future holds for these guys? They’re ours now, free agents at the end of the year, but who knows? I want them to come here and enjoy the process with us and really help the young guys.”

One of the reasons Matthews noted that it’s a no-brainer for him to pick up the player-option on his contract and return to the Mavs is because of the positive “personalities” within the organization. “You don’t find too many places where, top to bottom, everybody gets along with everybody,” Matthews said. “We never turned on each other, we never flaked on each other. This is an organization that’s a prideful organization — it’s had a lot of success. This is a very successful championship organization and these past two seasons in not making the playoffs and being in the lottery is not ideal for anybody to be a part of it.”

Will Wesley Matthews still be on the Mavs’ roster next season? Eddie Sefko: Don’t see why not. He’s got the player option at $18.6 million and unless somebody throws a long-term deal with more security at him, he’d be foolish not to take it. He likes it here and I don’t think Matthews (or any of the other veterans) really wants to bail on this thing without getting it turned around to some degree. All that said, he’s going to be a valuable trade piece as an expiring contract, so never discount the chance of a move.

Wesley Matthews, Mavs agree to four-year deal

Free agent guard Wes Matthews spurned a large offer from the Sacramento Kings late Thursday night to accept a four-year offer from the Dallas Mavericks, according to a league source. The move is a major deal for a player coming off a torn Achilles’ injury that ended his season with the Trail Blazers before the start of last season’s playoffs. The agreement gives the Mavericks a boost as they hope to sign free agent center DeAndre Jordan away from the Los Angeles Clippers.
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January 18, 2022 | 1:09 pm EST Update
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