2010 NBA Draft and Offseason Blog

Written by Paul Banks of the Washington Times, and David Kay of the The Sports Bank.
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How Does Wesley Matthews Fit in Portland? - July 16

With the Utah Jazz signing veteran shooting guard Raja Bell to a 3-year deal on Wednesday, it appears as if Wesley Matthews' short tenure in Salt Lake City has come to an end. The former Marquette standout signed a 5-year, $33.4 million offer sheet with Portland this past weekend and according to multiple reports, the Jazz will not match the contract making Matthews the newest member of the Blazers. While I am thrilled that the Madison native earned a big-time payday, I am not sure how he is going to fit with his new team.

Technically, the Jazz have until Tuesday night to match Portland's offer for Matthews since he is a restricted free agent. But let's be honest, my jaw dropped to the floor when I first saw the offer and agree with most who think that the Blazers are overpaying for his services. For a guy who a year ago went undrafted to be earning this type of deal after one season, WOWSERS!

Don't get me wrong, as a Marquette alum I am clearly a huge Matthews fan and proud of his perseverance and the hard work he displayed in making the Jazz roster. But never in a million years did I think he would get the type of offer he did this offseason after averaging 9.4 points per game and being really nothing more than a complementary player.

Matthews hit the jackpot last summer as he found the perfect fit for his services, instantly earning playing time in Utah. He then ended up starting 48 games because he played hard on defense, didn't try to do much on offense, but could knock down open three-pointers when given the opportunity. His style of play clearly caught the attention of Portland's front office that had been targeting the shooting guard since the free agency period began. The Blazers wanted him to bad that they chose to front load the contract offer meaning Matthews would make more than $9 million dollars next season, thus decreasing the likelihood of the Jazz matching the offer.

But why did Portland covet him that badly?

The Blazers already have a stud shooting guard in Brandon Roy and a valuable backup in Rudy Fernandez, and they just used their first-round pick on a combo guard, Elliot Williams out of Memphis. Where does Matthews fit into that equation?

He does bring a different toughness and attitude to the position since Roy and Rudy are both more offensive-minded players. But unless Fernandez is dealt before the start of the season, (which is a real possibility since he has been the subject of trade rumors this off-summer) Matthews is not guaranteed any significant playing time. Even if Rudy is traded, the former Golden Eagle is stuck coming off the bench behind Roy who played more than 37 minutes a game last season. The other option for the Blazers would be playing one of the two at the small forward position where they already have Nicolas Batum, Dante Cunningham and rookie Luke Babbitt.

In a way, I would imagine Matthews was hoping the Jazz would match this offer so he could come back to Utah and resume his role as starting shooting guard. However, Matthews said that Utah never made him an offer so it's on to the next one.

While the money was undoubtedly too good to turn down, I still think Utah is the better fit for Matthews in terms of playing time and a match to his style of play. By the way, how is this for irony... Matthews was not selected in the 2009 NBA Draft but will be making more money next season than each of the 60 players chosen. Unreal.

Recent NBA Draft and Offseason Blog Entries:

Four-Team Trade - 8/12
More with Ted Leonsis: Turning around the Washington Wizards - 8/11
Ted Leonsis Taking Washington Wizards on a New Path - 8/8
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 8/5 (Shaq)
NBA Announced Nationally Televised Game Schedule - 8/4
Michigan State Dismisses Chris Allen - 8/4
2011 NBA Free Agents - 7/30
2010 NBA Offseason Losers - 7/29
2010 NBA Offseason Winners - 7/28
Larry Bird Ranked Worst NBA GM - 7/27
Chris Paul Possible Trades - 7/26
Tracy McGrady to Chicago looking Extremely Likely - 7/26
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/24 (Kurt Thomas)
2011 NBA Draft Trades - 7/24
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/23 (Jefferson)
John Hammond May Have One More Transaction Up His Sleeve - 7/23
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/20 (Kleiza)
Evan Turner vs. Purdue Fans in Heated Twitter Trash Talk - 7/19
Top 10 2010 NBA Free Agents Available - 7/18
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/18 (Brad Miller)
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/17 (Brewer)
Magic Match Offer Sheet for J.J. Redick - 7/17
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/16
How Does Wesley Matthews Fit in Portland? - 7/16
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/15
Jefferson-Chandler Trades Analysis - 7/14
Michael Redd Era Over in Milwaukee - 7/14
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/13
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis (Last Weekend's) - 7/13
Childress-Turkoglu-Morrow Trades Analysis - 7/13
Sixers' Evan Turner Struggled in Summer League - 7/13
Specific Details of NCAA Tournament Expansion Announced Today - 7/13
Bulls Sign Kyle Korver, Offer Sheet to J.J. Redick - 7/11
Brainwashed Timberwolves Fans Fail to See the Light - 7/10
Winner in LeBron Sweepstakes? Milwaukee Bucks - 7/10
Larry Sanders Brings a Unique Skill Set to Milwaukee - 7/10
LeBron James to Miami Heat Recap - 7/9
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/9
Knicks-Warriors David Lee Trade Analysis - 7/9
Timberwolves-Heat Michael Beasley Trade Analysis - 7/9
Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh to Miami Heat - 7/8
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/8
The LeBron James Show - 7/8
Carlos Boozer Signs with Bulls - 7/8
Profiling Milwaukee's Potential Point Guards - 7/8
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/7
2010 NBA Summer League Recap - 7/7
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/6
2010 NBA Summer League Recap - 7/6
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/5
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/4
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/3
It's Not LeBron or Bust for the Bulls - 7/3
2010 NBA Free Agency Signings Analysis - 7/2
2010 NBA Free Agency: Day 1 - 7/2
Former NBA Player Kendall Gill on the Bulls Free Agent Prospects - 7/2
2010 NBA Draft Day Trades - 6/25
Foreign Flavor Losing Flair in NBA Draft - 6/24
Bucks-Warriors Corey Maggette Trade - 6/23
2010 NBA Draft Mailbag - 6/22
76ers-Kings Samuel Dalembert Trade - 6/18
2010 NBA Draft Mailbag - 6/3
2010 NBA Draft Lottery Odds Breakdown - 5/17
Evan Turner's Flaws - 5/13
Where Will Joe Johnson Go? - 5/12
Bulls Could Use Oklahoma State's James Anderson - 5/10
2010 NBA Draft Mailbag - 5/9
2010 NBA Draft Early Entries - 5/9
Debate's Over: Deron Williams is the Best Point Guard - 5/8
Someone to Be Drafted from DePaul? Yes, Really - 5/7
Gani Lawal: Testing the NBA Draft Waters - 5/6
Can De'Sean Butler Be Mr. Clutch in the NBA? - 5/5
Derrick Favors: No. 1 Big Man on 2010 NBA Draft Boards - 5/4
Jordan Crawford: More Than the Guy Who Dunked on LeBron - 5/3
Devin Ebanks is an NBA Draft Wildcard - 5/3
Where Will Dwayne Wade Go? - 5/1
Where Will Chris Bosh Go? - 5/1
2010 NBA Trade Deadline Grades - 2/19
NBA Offseason and Draft Blog - Home

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