Mavs Add Wes Matthews, Money + Hopes Up?
In the wake of the highly-publicized DeAndre Jordan fiasco, Wes Matthews stayed true to his word and signed on Thursday with the Dallas Mavericks. Matthews, who is coming off of a torn Achilles tendon in his left leg, is due to make a cool $70 million over the next four years (as opposed to the $57 million that was originally reported). Despite the "Game of Thrones''-style twist to the Mavs offseason, Matthews’ signing is an encouraging step forward in Mark Cuban’s attempt to rebuild.
But it's something else, too, and it explains how that $57 mil becomes exactly, according to DB.com calculations, $70,060,025.
Our understanding is that the Mavs' promise to Wes was this: You will be paid all we have left after Jordan gets his max. Jordan's max was to be about $19 mil; depending on where the cap came in, that was going to leave Wes about $13 mil.
But a promise is a promise. There is no Jordan. So Wes gets what Dallas pledged to him -- "the rest,'' as much as is legal. And this deal, which we believe starts at $16,407,500, is "the rest.''
Ironic, eh? Dallas stubbornly insists it will be true to its word ... on the same day it gets screwed by Jordan who is doing exactly the opposite.
Maybe that has long-term ramifications in terms of Dallas' future, or maybe this is a ruthless business in which everyone just screws everyone. But Dallas believes in Wes, and here's why:
Before his injury (Which ironically happened against the Mavs on March 5th), the Marquette product was averaging 15.9 points per game, and was one of the best snipers in the NBA. In fact, since he came into the league, he has averaged 39.3 percent shooting from downtown and trails only Kyle Korver and Steph Curry for three pointers made in that time span. Wes also has the ability to post up smaller defenders, and possesses an above average turn around jumper from that area of the floor.
Shooting isn’t the only thing Matthews brings to the table, however. As a Trailblazer, Matthews was the player that was called on to guard their opponent’s best perimeter scoring threats such as Steph Curry, James Harden, etc. and if healthy is the elite perimeter defender that the Mavs have been sorely lacking in recent years.
If Matthews can recover from his injury (a very big "if''), he is the complete shooting guard that Mavs fans have been clamoring for since the days of Rolando Blackman. Matthews has the potential to bring the kind of size, perimeter D and three-point shooting to the Mavs backcourt that they haven’t seen in the Dirk era, And If Wes can even get back to being 85-90 percent of the player his was in Rip City, Dallas will have a nice nucleus to build around for the future with him and Chandler Parsons.
DeAndre or no DeAndre, this team needed shooting and defense on the perimeter, and Matthews brings that. Unfortunately, despite their shiny new shooting guard acquisition and despite the now-official trade for Zaza Pachulia, Dirk and company still has a long way to go fielding a competitive roster night in and night out.