Lots of Milwaukee Bucks fans were hoping for the team to bring the band back together, and the team has given them their wish early on in free agency. The Athletic’s Shams Charania reports that the team is bringing back Wesley Matthews on a one-year deal. The Bucks have been busy in the early minutes of free agency, bringing back Bobby Portis and Jevon Carter, as well as adding free agent Joe Ingles. For the fans that wanted the band back together, the Bucks listened.
Reactions to Wesley Matthews agreeing to return to the Milwaukee Bucks on a one-year deal
After a rocky first stint with the Bucks, Matthews’ second go-round with the team went much better. Matthews was brought in mid-way through the 2021-2022 season and thrived for the Bucks. Matthews was so huge in his role that he ended up becoming Milwaukee’s starting two-guard towards the end of the regular season and into the playoffs.
Matthews was a perfect three-and-D addition to the Bucks roster. In the 2021-2022 regular season, Matthews was tremendous for Milwaukee defensively. Matthews held opponents to 43.5 percent from the field and 32.3 percent from three, per NBA.com/stats.
Unfortunately for Matthews, that success didn’t carry into the postseason. Opponents torched Matthews during the 2022 playoffs, finishing by shooting 48.0 percent from the field and 66.7 percent from three. I don’t necessarily think Matthews was as bad as those numbers indicate, however.
Milwaukee would’ve struggled significantly more to beat Chicago in the first round without Matthews. He was huge in neutralizing DeMar DeRozan, holding the Bulls All-Star to just 11-for-29 shooting (37.9 percent) from the field.
Without Matthews there to defend DeRozan, the assignment would’ve been left for Jrue Holiday. Holiday certainly would’ve been able to handle the assignment, considering he’s arguably the league’s best defensive guard, but having a partner like Matthews allows him to be more versatile with his assignments and both of them to switch when needed. The two together can cause chaos for opposing teams.
Offensively, Matthews gave the Bucks enough for the role that he’s trying to fill. The team didn’t sign Matthews to be a huge offensive threat, so his production for the team last season was just fine. Matthews spends a lot of time on the perimeter and scores a large majority of his points on threes, on which he shot 33.8 percent in the regular season and 40.0 percent in the playoffs. Seeing as his career three-point percentage is 37.7 percent, his regular season percentage will probably be on the rise next season and he’ll play his three-and-D role even better.
Matthews is a player that can be a low-risk, high-reward signing for the Bucks. Matthews brings a lot of what Milwaukee looks for when they sign players. The Bucks usually like to sign players who can contribute on both ends of the floor, and Matthews is able to do that. For a low-risk player, it’s always worth the signing, especially since Matthews had expressed a desire to return.
The Bucks have been active as free agency opens. I hope you had your popcorn ready, because the team didn’t really give you time to prepare it before they made their flurry of free agency moves.