With trade rumors surrounding Wesley Matthews and the Detroit Pistons supposedly shopping their 12th overall pick, could the Dallas Mavericks strike a deal?
Wesley Matthews has become somewhat of a polarizing figure in Dallas. He is beloved by almost everyone for his unrelenting work ethic and veteran leadership, however the jury is divided on whether he should remain a Maverick. It is no secret that he hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations dropped on him upon his acquisition by the Mavs two years ago.
This past season the iron man averaged 13.5 points, 2.9 assists, and 3.5 rebounds while shooting 36% from deep. Those numbers aren’t staggeringly bad of good, simply slightly above average. The primary problem with most fans who want him shipped away this offseason is that he is entering his ninth season in the league at 30 years old. He is no longer a spry chicken, and with the Mavs recent youth movement he seems to be out of place and not a priority for Dallas. Enter Detroit Pistons.
The Pistons had a roller coaster season that ended in disappointment and a failed playoff push, and they are looking to return to a winning philosophy. They have a core of Andre Drummond, free agent Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Tobias Harris, and Reggie Jackson(?). Clearly they believe their current roster is ready to win, plus or minus a couple moves.
Wesley Matthews could step into Detroit ready to contribute on day 1 playing excellent perimeter defense, knocking down outside shots, and greatly improving the culture with his hard-nosed winning attitude. The fit isn’t picture perfect as Caldwell-Pope is really a better fit as the 2-guard rather than the SF, but he is 6’5″ and so is Matthews, so it likely wouldn’t be a problem.
For the Mavericks, as mentioned before, he isn’t a high priority for Dallas as they look to get younger and prepare for the eventual departure of Dirk Nowitzki. Many solid prospects could be available at the 12 pick.
Names such as Frank Ntilikina, Donovan Mitchell, Lauri Markannen, OG Anunoby, Justin Jackson, and possibly even Malik Monk may fall as far as 12. Any of these players could find a home in the Big D and help prepare them for the future. Also, if the Mavs are hell bent on trading up in the draft for De’Aaron Fox or something like that, having the 12th pick in their pocket could be useful.
I’m not completely convinced that the Mavericks couldn’t fetch a little better price for a capable veteran like Wesley Matthews, but this certainly wouldn’t be a bad trade and both teams would take a step in the direction they wish to go.