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Wesley Mathews headed to Portland, Jazz will not match offer

Jul 15, 2010, 9:07 AM EDT

Thumbnail image for blazers_logo.pngThe Utah Jazz found Wesley Mathews — an undrafted rookie who started 48 games for them last year.

But the Jazz are going to play Raja Bell’s tune next season. So Mathews is off to Portland, where he will be Brandon Roy’s backup. Portland had made an offer to Mathews for the mid-level exception of $5.8 million (with a bonus and a front-loaded deal as poison pills) and Utah has told him they will not match. Mathews was pretty pumped when he talked to FanHouse.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Matthews, who won’t start at shooting guard for Portland due to Brandon Roy but could unseat Nicolas Batum as the starting small forward. “It’s a great organization. Whether they want me to start or come off the bench, it’s fine with me. I can be a defender for them.”

Mathews has gone from undrafted, to making the Jazz on a one-year, rookie minimum deal ($427,163) to making more than No. 1 overall pick from last year Blake Griffin will make.

Last season Mathews averaged 9.4 points per game in almost 24 minutes of action. He shot 48 percent from the floor and a good 38 percent from three. He was their two-guard, the guy asked to cover Kobe Bryant in the second round of the playoffs. A guy given real responsibility by Jerry Sloan as a rookie.

He will help the Blazers, even if that is a pretty steep contract for a second-year backup wing player.

  1. damnit - Jul 15, 2010 at 11:28 AM

    We loved Wesley Matthews in Utah. He deserves the raise. I wish him well! Too bad we couldn’t keep him. I blame Kirilenko

  2. JBH4 - Jul 15, 2010 at 1:10 PM

    I loved Wes in Utah but Portland is crazy for throwing this much money at him.. I believe Portland was trying to get utah to take the bait and overspend on him.. Utah was smart and didn’t take the bait.. This contract will come back to haunt Portland at some point.. Raja Bell is proven replacement for way less $.. Utah will be better off in the long run. With Dwill, AJ, Millsap, Bell, & AK47 we will be the #2 seed in the west…

  3. breakitdwnilla - Jul 15, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    hahahahhhhahhahahahah JBH4 is a fool . watch wesley mathews have a great season and portland has plenty of money who are you? LOL the hell are you talkin about dummy

  4. Pete H - Jul 15, 2010 at 1:50 PM

    I admit I haven’t seen him play, but that seems like a lot of money. Smells a little like Howard Eisley and Shandon Anderson – unheralded, then foolishly overvalued, Utah role-players.

  5. BELL RINGER - Jul 16, 2010 at 12:09 AM

    I hate to see mathews go, but if the jazz didn’t over pay AK for nothing, then they would have some extra money to spend on guys that they really want. Bell is a tough player that fits well in the Jerry Sloan offense.

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