As most of you have probably heard, the Portland Trail Blazers have extended an offer to Wesley Matthews. If the Utah Jazz don’t match the offer within the week, Wes will be a part of the Portland Trail Blazers, and the Utah Jazz would have lost their 3rd key player of the current off-season.
Seeing the Jazz slowly lose all of the pieces that made them so exciting to watch last season is very hard for any Jazz fan to absorb. But specifically when you talk about a guy like Wesley Matthews, who had such a promising rookie campaign with the Jazz after being overlooked in the NBA Draft, it is even harder to let him go.
Matthews is a typical Jazz player in the sense that he went under the radar coming out of college, and he is all about trying to earn his keep by working hard and doing the little things that are so vital for a team. His ability to defend guards and infuse the Jazz with energy are things that the Jazz are going to have a hard time replacing, as those attributes stem from his personality more than his basketball skill. This is not to say that Wes is not a very talented basketball player, because he is, but it is his fearless and positive personality that separates him from the average Joe in the NBA.
Now I don’t know Wesley Matthews personally, but from what I can see, he is the perfect teammate. He doesn’t have a bad attitude while playing or sitting on the bench, and he always holds himself accountable for the mistakes that he makes. He also looks to relieve the collective team pressure by taking big shots and defending the opposition’s best players in crunch time. If you are seeing that type of maturity and confidence from an undrafted rookie, there is a good chance that he will be able to carry that attitude throughout his career. If that’s the case, Wesley Matthews will always be considered a valuable player that most teams are looking to acquire on their roster. Hence, the Portland Trail Blazers.
So, if you were asking me if I think the Jazz should try to match the offer sheet for Matthews, I would say definitely. Although Matthews appears to be a replaceable player on the surface, his attitude and intangibles make him more important to a team than most NBA players that do what he does on the court. The Utah Jazz need to claim Wesley Matthews and make him part of their family for a very long time. He will always be a bright spot, and they will always be one step closer to a championship as long as he’s on the team.