With the initial wave of free agency finally over, the Los Angeles Lakers appear much stronger on paper as they added several impact players who can help fuel them to a repeat title run.
Dennis Schroder, Montrezl Harrell, and Marc Gasol were all brought in, and the front office was also able to re-sign Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Markieff Morris. Despite the loss of Danny Green, they were able to quickly find his replacement by signing Wesley Matthews to a one-year deal worth $3.6 million.
Matthews is coming off a solid season with the Milwaukee Bucks where he nailed 36.1% of his threes and often guarded the opposing team’s best perimeter players. He should slot in nicely into Green’s old role and gives the roster a notable veteran who competes each possession.
Talking to reporters for the first time since signing with the team, Matthews laid out a strong message.
“My message to Lakers fans is you’re going to get somebody who shows up every single night, ready to compete, ready to make life hell for whoever it is that I’m going up against,” he said. “And someone that’s not going to quit, someone that’s not going to back down and someone that’s going to do everything in their power to make sure that an 18th banner gets raised.”
The shooting guard has earned a reputation around the league as a hard-nosed defender who is not afraid to do the dirty work, a perfect fit within Lakers head coach Frank Vogel’s defensive scheme. His strengths as a shooter will also be amplified playing next to LeBron James and Anthony Davis as they command so much attention that Matthews will have his fair share of outside looks.
Aside from a chance to compete for a championship, Matthews noted that a starting role was too good to pass up and hopefully he can deliver whenever he is out on the floor.
Matthews apparent upgrade over Danny Green
Although Green shined in his role last season, his streakiness shooting the ball came up during the postseason as he often times could not convert on wide-open looks. The most notable shot was his miss in Game 5 of the 2020 NBA Finals that could have potentially ended the series.
While Green thrived on relocating to the corners, Matthews is a more natural spot-up shooter and it is easy to imagine him standing in the weak-side corner ready to shoot.
Have you subscribed to our YouTube channel? It’s the best way to watch player interviews, exclusive coverage from events, participate in live shows, and more!