Pros/Cons of the Milwaukee Bucks keeping free agent Wesley Matthews

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - FEBRUARY 28 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /
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Milwaukee Bucks: Wesley Matthews
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN – JANUARY 22 (Photo by John Fisher/Getty Images) /

The pros of the Milwaukee Bucks keeping Wesley Matthews in free agency

Despite Wesley Matthews’ age and his limitations offensively, there are still plenty of reasons why the Milwaukee Bucks would be wise to retain him, as previously alluded to. The front office signed him during the regular season and eventually handed him a guaranteed deal for a reason, and that is because the veteran managed to play well enough in his role under coach Mike Budenholzer.

Defensively, Matthews was a significant piece for the Bucks, which is why his role became so vital. With P.J. Tucker having departed in free agency and Semi Ojeleye struggling to find his footing with the team, Matthews came aboard and gave Milwaukee that defensive-minded player they needed to defend the opposing team’s top scorer on a nightly basis. Even at 35-years-old, Matthews had a sizeable impact on that side of the ball in several individual matchups, having held Kevin Durant to 19 points on 7-of-18 shooting (38.9 percent) during two regular season meetings and keeping DeMar DeRozan in check during Milwaukee’s five-game series against the Chicago Bulls during the playoffs by holding him to 33 points on 11-of-29 shooting (37.9 percent), per Having a player that can take on those tough defensive assignments and do a solid job at that is a great reason for the Milwaukee Bucks to keep Matthews onboard.

Another reason why Matthews sticking around in Milwaukee would make sense from the team’s perspective would be his salary. Matthews let it be known that his goal was to play for the Bucks and help them win rather than seeking significant compensation, as he reportedly turned down a handful of other offers due to his desire to play for his home state. He was willing to sign a deal that was non-guaranteed to make the roster last season, and he would likely be willing to take a minimum to stay around next season. That is just speculation, but given everything Matthews has said about the team over these past few months, it would make some sense. Given the financial constraints the Bucks currently face, a key player taking a cheaper deal would help mightily, and Matthews could be willing to do just that.