Why retaining Wesley Matthews would be low risk for Milwaukee Bucks

MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 08 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)
MIAMI, FLORIDA - DECEMBER 08 (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images) /

Wesley Matthews was a great story for the Milwaukee Bucks during the 2021-22 NBA season.

The long-time NBA veteran started the season at home before receiving a call from the Bucks in December, which led to him signing a non-guaranteed deal. Matthews played well enough in the following months to get his deal guaranteed, which resulted in him eventually becoming a starter for the franchise full-time. Now, with Milwaukee’s season over, Matthews made it clear that he is set on running it back with the Bucks next season and that retiring is not in the cards, as he stated during his exit interview. As the Bucks cycle through their to-do list this offseason, re-signing the 35-year-old Matthews should certainly be on the table, as doing so would be incredibly low-risk.

Why retaining Wesley Matthews would be low risk for Milwaukee Bucks

First and foremost, Wesley Matthews was a starter for the Milwaukee Bucks down the stretch of the season, which signals how important he was for this team. Even if the team does not envision him playing that role full-time once again next year, Matthews has value, and the front office must not ignore that. Bringing back someone who was a full-time starter throughout the final stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs would typically be a no-brainer, but everyone remembers what the Bucks did with P.J. Tucker last offseason. However, that is neither here nor there now.

Among the most obvious reasons why the Bucks should bring Matthews back is that he will likely not be in the market for a hefty contract. The veteran was willing to come aboard last season on a deal that was not even guaranteed, and given that he said Milwaukee is where he wanted to play, he would likely take a discount for his home state if it meant he could stick around. For a team that does not have the most financial flexibility, being able to add an impact player who could possibly even be a starter would be a significant move. If Matthews is willing to take a veteran’s minimum, negotiations should not take too long whatsoever.

Another reason is that Matthews has already proven to be a solid fit with his teammates and the veteran fills a sizeable hole on the wing for Milwaukee. The veteran’s defensive excellence makes him a serviceable piece for head coach Mike Budenholzer to utilize, particularly when he can place the forward in lineups alongside Giannis Antetokounmpo, Jrue Holiday, and other great defenders. The Bucks utilized Matthews in a role during the playoffs that often saw him defend the opposing team’s best player, and having someone who is willing to take on that challenge nightly is a big lift for Milwaukee. While his offense can be shakey more often than not, Matthews is typically out on the floor for his defense, and the Milwaukee Bucks would be wise to keep him around for that.

In short, retaining Wesley Matthews this offseason would be the definition of a low-risk move for the Bucks. The veteran would be an affordable free agent pickup that can bring something to the table nightly with his robust defense, which this team could always use. The front office made some notable mistakes during free agency last offseason, which included some significant misses with a handful of their signings, but they should not overthink it with Matthews this time around.

Predicting landing spots for each Milwaukee Bucks’ impending free agent. dark. Next

Stay tuned to see what happens with Wesley Matthews and the Milwaukee Bucks this offseason.