The Philadelphia 76ers were not a serious consideration by Wesley Matthews after he was bought out by the New York Knicks.
“I didn’t talk to anybody from the Sixers,” Matthews told Basketball Society’s Landon Buford.
Matthews, a former Maverick and now a member of the Indiana Pacers, returned to Dallas for the first time on Wednesday after being shipped in the trade that brought Kristaps Porzingis to the Mavs in exchange for high-flying point guard, Dennis Smith, Jr. who went to the New York Knicks.
Appearing on Philadelphia’s 97.5 The Fanatic earlier this month, I shared with host, Jamie Lynch that the Philadelphia 76ers and Wesley Matthews did have mutual interests.
Matthews doesn’t see it that way.
“I didn’t talk to anybody from Sixers,” Matthews told Buford.
Many factors likely changed Matthews’ mind. Between late January to now, he’s been traded to the Knicks from Dallas, accepted a buyout from New York and ultimately signed with the Pacers.
A few transactions happened between then.
Firstly, with an already impressive roster that includes Ben Simmons, Joel Embiid and Jimmy Butler, the Sixers made a splash at the NBA trade deadline.
In a six-player trade on February 5, the Sixers shipped Landry Shamet, Wilson Chandler, Mike Muscala, a 2020 lottery protected first round pick, a 2021 first-round pick and a 2021 and 2023 second round pick to the Los Angeles Clippers in exchange for Tobias Harris, Boban Marjanovic and Mike Scott.
Where the heck would Wesley Matthews fit in with that equation in Philadelphia?
“I mean it’s [Philadelphia 76ers] a great organization. They were on my list for consideration, but wasn’t like I did a college recruiting tour.”
On the Pacers side, there became a Victor Oladipo factor.
The league’s reigning Most Improved Player was diagnosed with a ruptured quad tendon in his right leg, which forced him to miss the remainder of the season.
This season, Oladipo was averaging 18.8 points, 5.6 rebounds and 1.7 steals.
Per CBS Sports’ Chris Bengel: It’s an injury that’s fairly rare for basketball players and extremely challenging to return from. “I’m a positive butterfly,” Oladipo said recently.
“Sure, it might be connected, but who knows. I’m not focused on the past because I have no control over that just like I have no control over the future.”
Matthews fits in the fifth place Pacers’ role seamlessly as a scorer in Oladipo’s absence. This season, he’s pretty much at his career average of 13 points per game.
While still a member of the Mavs, earlier in the regular season, Matthews was averaging 19.6 points in 33 minutes of action. Matthews knows a thing or two about the road to recovery after suffering a season ending stress fracture in a game against the Memphis Grizzlies last season.
Matthews sought the help of core expert, Jessica Schatz during last offseason to become whole again and it worked. The pilates approach seems to be working.“I love it.” he said earlier in the year.
“Injuries typically happen when there are small weakness in the muscles and parts of the body that you would not train.”