Masai Ujiri must be spending a lot of time riding his fixie bike around Portland. For the second time this week, a Trail Blazers free agent has popped up on Ujiri's radar, as ESPN's Marc Stein reports that 28-year-old Wes Matthews is drawing the eye of Toronto brass.
Word I hear is that Wes Matthews (@wessywes2) is ahead of schedule on his Achilles rehab and drawing interest from Toronto as well as Dallas— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) June 30, 2015
Matthews is one of the NBA's most prolific three-point shooters at the small forward position, but is coming off major surgery for an Achilles injury suffered in early March. In 2014-15, he averaged 15.9 points, 3.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists, and 1.3 steals per game, shooting 39% from the land beyond on 7.3 attempts per game. He's also a strong defender at the wing position; one of the most proven "3-and-D" players we've talked so much about this week.
Stein's report has Matthews recovering ahead of schedule and seeking a bigger role with more money - reportedly in the $15-million a year range. Before his injury, Matthews was one of the NBA's most reliable players, missing just 29 regular season games in his first five seasons in the league. Of course, the Achilles is nothing to mess with, and a major injury like that means Matthews comes with huge question marks, quick recovery or not.
Though Matthews role would certainly be bigger in Toronto, there's some question in my mind about whether Kyle Lowry and DeMar DeRozan would be willing to share the spotlight with yet another limelight-seeking backcourt player. Ego issues became apparent last year and while the addition of Matthews makes sense from a basketball standpoint, there's something troublesome about three guys who would want to be "the man".
What are your thoughts?