When Wesley Matthews suffered a brutal Achilles tendon injury down the stretch of the 2014-2015 season while he was playing some of the best basketball of his career. With that optimism on the table, the Dallas Mavericks inked Matthews, injury concerns and all, to a four-year, $70 million contract just a few months later and the deal included a fourth-year player option that would provide the now 31-year-old wing with the ability to opt in to $18.6 million.
On Monday morning, word broke that Matthews will, in fact, do just that.
It comes as no surprise that Matthews would (quickly) opt to lock in that level of salary for next season and the decision was seemingly easy enough that the veteran would make the choice almost two months before he was pressed to do so. While Matthews has been a helpful piece in Dallas, his production slipped significantly upon arrival, presumably due to the combination of age and reduced athleticism stemming from what was a very serious injury.
In three seasons with the Mavericks, Matthews has averaged 12.9 points per game while scuffling to the tune of 39.5 percent shooting from the floor. Because of his acumen and physicality, Matthews still operates as a helpful piece defensively and, of course, it must be noted that he has connected on a respectable 36.7 percent of his three-point attempts over that same three-year span. Still, there is no question that Matthews, given what he has put together with the Mavericks, isn’t quite worth the $18.6 million salary and that makes his choice quite simple.
It remains to be seen as to whether Dallas will plan to hang on to Matthews or attempt to trade him, but the nine-year pro will turn 32 in October and he will be making $18.6 million for the 2018-2019 season.