Milwaukee Bucks: Wesley Matthews opting-into 2020-21 makes sense

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 24 (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 24 (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

Wesley Matthews had an exciting first season with the Milwaukee Bucks, and staying with the team for at least one more year makes sense for both sides.

Once this season has officially concluded, Wesley Matthews will have to decide whether he will opt-into his player option for 2020-21, worth around $2.7 million, or test the free agency waters. While the shooting guard has not shared his free agency desires publicly, sticking with the Milwaukee Bucks for another season could be beneficial for both parties.

Statistically, Matthews appeared to have a lackluster year for the Milwaukee Bucks as he averaged 7.5 points, 2.6 rebounds, and 1.5 assists per game. His 7.5 points per game were his fewest since his rookie campaign in 2009-10, and only the second time in his career that he has not averaged double figures scoring in a season.

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However, while his statistics may have appeared subpar on paper, Matthews was a significant part of Milwaukee’s overall success. The guard’s impact went far beyond the stat sheet as he consistently proved himself to be a perfect fit in the team’s starting lineup, even if his role was minimized compared to previous instances in his career.

Playing alongside reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo and Khris Middleton transformed Matthews into a perfect role player for this team and provided another experienced threat on both sides of the floor.

Matthews’ versatile presence on the defensive end gave the Bucks another solidified defender to throw at players such as LeBron James and Kawhi Leonard throughout the season. He supplied a considerable contribution to Milwaukee’s league-best defense all year, and having him back next season for that would be a significant plus.

His play on the offensive end was stellar as well for the Milwaukee Bucks, even though the ball was not in his hands as much in prior seasons. Because of this, Matthews made it count that much more when he received the chance. As a three-point specialist, the guard averaged 36.5 percent from behind the arc this season, having embraced the team’s “let it fly” mentality on a nightly basis.

Overall, Matthews’ veteran minimum salary last season was a perfect match for both sides, and would only make sense if the 33-year-old followed the same path next season.

Still, opting-into his contract with the Bucks should be an ideal option for Matthews with his prominent starting role and the best opportunity he has had to date to win an NBA title. If the 11-year-veteran wants to go all-in and play for a championship contender with genuine minutes, staying put in Milwaukee seems to be his best option for the foreseeable future.

It would appear that Matthews also loves being back home and playing for the Milwaukee Bucks. Back on January 15th, the Marquette Golden Eagles, Matthews’ alma mater from 2005-09, honored their former guard in a game versus Xavier.

It was there that Matthews said:

"“Being home again and playing for the Bucks, (the) hometown team, being a block away from where a lot of memories were, it’s a pretty awesome feeling, and for Marquette to do this for me, it’s humbling.”"

From his words, it would appear that Matthews would like to continue and possibly even finish his career in a Milwaukee uniform. Right now, his biggest desire appears to be helping the team to bring a championship back to the Bucks in any way that he can.

Next. Considering an end date for current core’s contention window. dark

If winning is truly what Wesley Matthews desires, staying put with the Milwaukee Bucks for at least one more season seems like a justifiable move for both sides.