Lakers Strike Deal With Ex-Bucks Starter: Report

wesley matthews

Getty Wesley Matthews with Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Free agency is finally here and it didn’t take long for the Los Angeles Lakers to make a move.

There were rumors that the team was interested in signing Wesley Matthews to replace Danny Green and it looks like those were 100% true. According to Shams Charania of The Athletic, the veteran plans to sign with Los Angeles.

Matthews was most recently on the Milwaukee Bucks and started 67 games with the team that finished with the NBA’s best regular-season record. He’s a logical replacement for Green. He’s a solid 3-point shooter and defender. He’s leaving a winning culture and now gets to play for the defending champions. Charania also reported the details of Matthews’ contract. He’ll be getting a one-year deal for $3.6 million. That’s a much smaller chunk of change than they were paying Green.

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What Matthews Brings to the Lakers

Considering how early it is in free agency, the Lakers clearly were gunning for Matthews. He was a logical player to replace Green. Matthews has shot a little over 38% from beyond the arc in his career. That’s only slightly lower than Green’s 40% career numbers.

Matthews recently turned 34 so he is up there in age but the Lakers only need him to have one more solid season. He’s going to fit in well with the type of veteran roster the team built last offseason. He’s also not going to be a liability on the defensive side of the ball. He’s not the defender Green is but he can hold his own. the Bucks had one of the best defenses in the NBA last season and Matthews was a big part of that.

Other Players to Keep an Eye On

In previous years, free agency usually goes by very quickly. Things are going to be a little bit different this year due to the truncated offseason. Players are more likely to take some time this year.

The Lakers have been linked to a number of guys but some of them aren’t very realistic. One name to watch is Marc Gasol, who was originally drafted by the team in 2007 but was traded as part of the deal that landed the Lakers his brother, Pau. According to ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne, he could finally get his chance to play in Los Angeles.

Gasol isn’t quite as good as his brother but he is a 3-time All-Star and could bring some offensive prowess to the Lakers’ group of centers. However, his injury issues are concerning as he’s only played 35 games over the last three seasons. He was once a great player but his best days are behind him.

The Lakers haven’t been linked to many free agents but they have a lot of their own that they need to figure out what to do with. It appears Kentavious Caldwell-Pope plans to re-sign with the team but that could take some time. Avery Bradley also reportedly would like to return but he’s probably going to get interest around the league.

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