The Dallas Mavericks have made a rather bold move in free agency. According to NBA.com’s David Aldridge, the team has agree to a four-year contract with former Portland Trail Blazers guard Wes Matthews.
Wes Matthews has agreed in principle with the Mavericks on a four-year deal, per source. Turned down huge offer from Sacramento.
— David Aldridge (@davidaldridgedc) July 3, 2015
As Aldridge notes, Matthews reportedly turned down a huge offer from Sacramento in deciding to join a team that’s much closer to playoff contention. ESPN’s Marc Stein reported earlier Thursday that the Kings had offered Matthews a four-year, $64 million contract.
Details of Matthew’s deal with Dallas is not yet known, but it’s safe to say he left some cash on the table.
The 28-year-old former undrafted free agent from Marquette has been one of the most underrated players in the Association over the past couple years. Quickly working his way into Portland’s rotation, and then its starting lineup, Matthews averaged over 15 points per game during his five-year career with the Blazers. He’s also a career 39 percent three-point shooter.
The one thing that was holding Matthews back from potentially receiving a longer-term max deal is the torn Achilles he suffered back in March.
Deadspin ran an article on how Achilles injuries impact players once they return to the court. And the results are not positive (h/t CBS Sports):
“The average age for injured players was 29.7, with seven years of playing experience (Kobe’s in his 17th year); in the first year back from injury, players played 5.21 fewer minutes per game. That number dropped to 4.42 in the second year back. More tellingly, player efficiency rating (PER) dropped by 4.64 the first year back and 4.28 the second. To understand how severe that drop is, consider: This year, a difference of 4.64 PER is the difference between Kobe Bryant and Ersan Ilyasova.”
Not only is Matthews going to have to come back strong, he will have to continue improving on the court. The Mavericks, who have seemingly missed out on some top free-agent targets, are going to be relying a great deal on Matthews this upcoming season. That’s only magnified by the loss of Tyson Chandler and the likely losses of both Monta Ellis and Rajon Rondo.
Photo: USA Today Sports