Woj: Matthews signs 5-year, $34M offer sheet with Blazers

From Yahoo Sports! Adrian Wojnarowski’s report:

The Blazers offered their full midlevel exception in a frontloaded contract that includes a $9.2 million payday in the first year in hopes it would be too expensive for the Jazz to match and keep Matthews, the source said. The Blazers had considered making an offer to Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar(notes), sources said, but turned to Matthews after a meeting with him on Friday.

Matthews signed the offer sheet Saturday in Las Vegas. The Jazz will have seven days to match.

The Blazers had been rumored to be after Matthews from the start of free agency, so the offer sheet and signing should be not be a surprise. The head-scratching part is giving the full Mid-Level Exception to a guy who doesn’t have currently have a spot in the rotation. If anything, Blazer fans should be encouraged that despite the lack of a GM the Blazers are not incapable of making moves and have some sort of vision. By front-loading the contract Portland is either trying to poison the Jazz for the 2nd consecutive season OR just out-bid them. Only time will tell.

Obviously, Portland really wanted Matthews. With Morrow, Korver, Redick, etc. all off the market the Blazers had to act fast. Two areas the Blazers targeted in the off-season were a perimeter player who could shoot. Matthews’ ability to defend on the perimeter and shoot the ball are highly valued by the Blazers. Not to mention his toughness, I mean this is a rookie who earned a starting job under Jerry Sloan. He seems like the type of player that would fit right in with Nate McMillan’s philosophy. The move adds talent to Portland’s perimeter, gives them another asset and boosts their overall talent. Rudy Fernandez becomes more expendable and Luke Babbitt could have time to develop without pressure.

That being said, I can’t help but wonder if there is another move behind Door #3.

Tags: Portland Trail Blazers Utah Jazz Wesley Matthews

  • Randall

    “I mean this is a rookie who earned a starting job under Jerry Sloan.”

    I’m not real familiar with the kid’s game, but that sentence makes him worth every dollar. The fact he stepped it up in the playoffs is extra gravy. Maybe this time Utah will gag on the upfront payment.

  • Lance

    I guess since we missed out on the top 4 perimeter players in Miller, Redick, Morrow, and Korver a 5th option type in Matthews fits right in this situation. If it isn’t sad enough we are going after 5th option players, it is most likely that we don’t even get him since Utah has lost 2 players already and has the cap to re-sign him.

    Total disaster of an off season for Portland no matter how you slice it. We will still be good, but IF everything goes right we will be challenging for a top 4 seed…and that is a big IF with our history. A championship is a pipe dream.

    • natsthecat

      very glass is half empty sentiments!

  • Lance

    The truth is what it is. How you receive it is up to you. The fact of the matter is we have been eliminated twice in a row in the first round and very much out played in both series’s. It isn’t like we are one play away from being a championship team. Tell me what we have done to take that next step to pass those 4 other teams a head of us (and not just the Lakers). The we have to find a way to beat the elite in the East if we can get that far.

    I know there is till time to make moves this off season, but until (if) those moves are made to add another true talent the glass is half empty. If it makes you feel better, we will call the glass half full. Which is all psychosomatic because the quantity in the glass is the same either way you wish to describe it and nobody has ever proven one description leads to better results than the other. It is just a feel good way of doing so.