This past season, Wesley Matthews was a member of a rebuilding Dallas Mavericks team.
Averaging 12.7 points, 3.1 rebounds and 2.7 assists in 33.8 minutes per game over 63 contests, he was a veteran presence alongside Dirk Nowitzki on what was a very young and inexperienced roster.
Having just played the third season, Matthews recently made a choice regarding his future with the team.
Would he decide to stay put and undoubtedly make more money next season on a rebuilding roster or would he elect to forgo the money and test the free agent market, perhaps in pursuit of a ring?
On Monday, he announced that he will remain in Dallas and play out the fourth year of his contract. Through his comments, it’s safe to say that he has a ton of respect for the organization.
“You don’t find too many places where, top to bottom, everybody gets along with everybody,” Matthews said, per Dwain Price of Mavs.com. “We never turned on each other, we never flaked on each other. … This is an organization that’s a prideful organization — it’s had a lot of success. This is a very successful championship organization and these past two seasons in not making the playoffs and being in the lottery is not ideal for anybody to be a part of it.”
Despite the fact that the Mavericks were one of the worst teams in the league this season, Matthews was impressed at how cohesive the team remained.
“A lot of times you see teams and coaching staffs and organizations kind of splinter and point fingers, and we never did that at any point,” Matthews explained. “Even when we’re just in the locker room with ourselves, on the bus, on the plane, we never did that. We rallied. …That’s a special thing. Now we’ve just got to turn that into what we’re capable of being, and that’s in the postseason.”
It appears as though he has accepted his role as a team leader and is optimistic about the future.
“I’m watching these playoff games and I’m getting that hunger and I’m calling some of the young guys,” he said. “I’ve been calling (Finney-Smith) and I’ve been calling Dennis and making sure that they’re tuned in watching these games. … You can feel the passion and the fight on the TV. We’ve got to have that as soon as we can get back playing again from (training) camp. We don’t want to be watching (the playoffs) again.”
Despite the team’s struggles, Matthews still saw the court for plenty of minutes when he was healthy this season. Therefore, unless one of the team’s young players eclipses him on the depth chart and lands in the starting five (or the team drafts someone on the wing), he will likely play a major role on next year’s squad as well.
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