Well, it seems like a vast majority of Jazz fans believe that this year’s trio of Jefferson, Hayward, and Bell is better than last year’s trio of Boozer, Korver, and Matthews (See my last post). Despite this, seeing Wesley Matthews donning his new Portland Trail Blazers uniform was very hard for me. Matthews only got to play one season with the Utah Jazz, and I feel like one year was just not enough.
Watching this undrafted rookie succeed with the Jazz last season was something that I loved about this team because it embodied everything that the Utah Jazz represent. Yeah, maybe the Jazz don’t have All-Stars across the board like the Lakers and the Celtics, but they are a team that is built on hard work and never-say-die attitudes. Wesley Matthews was exhibit A last season, as his hard work got him to a point where he was Utah’s starting two guard, and he had the responsibility of defending one of the most gifted offensive players to ever play the game in the second round of the playoffs. (And believe me, he didn’t just fall into that position, he had to earn the respect of Jerry Sloan and the organization as a whole). An experience like that in your rookie season can only be a positive one moving forward. Unfortunately for Jazz fans, Matthews is no longer with their team.
But let’s forget about the Jazz fans for a second, and let’s try to see things from Matthews’ point of view. How do you think he is going to handle the move to Portland and the inevitable downgrade in playing time? After all, he will be backing up Brandon Roy who clearly has the shooting guard position locked down for the Blazers. Like Roy, Matthews is strictly a shooting guard, which means that if Roy is on the court – and he will be for the majority of games – there is a great chance that Matthews will be riding the pine. With that being the case, how long do you think Matthews will be able to accept his reduced role? Remember, as a rookie Matthews was playing crucial minutes in the playoffs. That definitely built up his confidence, and it will undoubtedly have an affect on his psyche in the future. Will he just sit on the bench quietly collecting his money, or will he demand a change in favor of some more playing time?
If you ask me, this move by the Blazers has disaster written all over it right now. I just can’t wait to see how this whole thing turns out. Maybe Wes will end up back in a Jazz uniform before all is said and done. Yes?