Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews has blossomed into one of the better two-way wings in the NBA, but a devastating Achilles injury suffered in early March ended his season and put his status for the beginning of next season in doubt. The timing wasn’t ideal as Matthews heads to unrestricted free agency this summer, but that’s not going to stop him from seeking a deal worth $15 million annually, according to Sam Amick of USA TODAY Sports.
There’s little doubt that a healthy Matthews is worth that kind of deal, especially with the salary cap set to explode in 2016. He’s a strong defender and has been a remarkably consistent three-point shooter over the course of his career, never shooting less than 38.2 percent from deep in a season.
However, an Achilles injury is a tough one to come back from, so that could scare suitors away. Amick says Matthews has already returned to basketball activities and is expected to be ready to go by the start of next season, but that sounds awfully optimistic.
Perhaps the rising cap will make offering a huge deal to Matthews more palatable, but it would still be a risk, and we’ll see if the Blazers or any other team is willing to pay up. Portland would like to have him back, although one has to wonder if the situation changes if LaMarcus Aldridge goes elsewhere.