Former Lakers Veteran Finds New Home With Bucks

Getty Images Talen Horton-Tucker of the Los Angeles Lakers is helped up by Wesley Matthews, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and Ben McLemore.

Former Los Angeles Lakers wing Wes Matthews has agreed to a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks after going unsigned for the first part of the season.

Matthews landing with the Bucks was first reported by Shams Charania of The Athletic.

Matthews most recently played with the Lakers during what was a failed experiment last year. However, he played with the Bucks previously, notching nearly 25 minutes per game and 7.4 points in 2019.

Matthews wanted to “run it back” with the Lakers but never got that chance, with the team deciding to go in a different direction.

“There is no question in my mind and in my heart that I want to run it back,” Matthews said at his exit interview.

His lone season with the Lakers didn’t exactly make LA eager to bring him back. He shot a career-worst 35.3% from beyond the arc while averaging 4.8 points per game.

“As far as my role and the ups and downs of the season, I don’t take any of it personally. I like to be a straight shooter and call a spade a spade,” Matthews said. “In order to do that, you have to have personal accountability. And I have no problem owning up to that, which was some of the inconsistent play that I had.”

Matthews clearly wants to win a ring and gets another good shot with the defending champion Bucks.

Lakers Being ‘Old’ Didn’t Help Matthews’ Cause

The Lakers were called out this offseason for building an “old” roster with the likes of Trevor Ariza, Carmelo Anthony and Dwight Howard, so that didn’t help the cause of the 35-year-old Matthews. The Lakers did add some younger shooting in Kendrick Nunn and Malik Monk, the latter being essential for LA in the early stages of the season.

For guys like Anthony, they don’t mind the “old” criticism and are accepting their roles.

“We don’t care,” Anthony told reporters. “We don’t care. We make our own narrative.

“I like when people talk about the age. It gives a better story. I think it gives a better story. I think people forget, at the end of the day, it’s about basketball. You got to know how to play basketball. You got to have that experience. I think that’s what we bring at this point and time. Our talent, our skill, but also our experience.”

Trevor Ariza Battling Back From Ankle Surgery

Ariza was a key veteran piece the Lakers added in the offseason but he’s yet to take the court with LA due to ankle surgery he had just before the start of the season. The 36-year-old has been progressing and was as a non-contact in practice this week.

“I’ve been as of late just starting to run on my own, on my own body weight,” Ariza told reporters on Monday. “Been on the court shooting, going through movements that I will probably have to get used to doing again. Conditioning, sprinting, lifting, shooting, a whole lot of that.”

The Lakers are 12-11 will continue to try to move their season in the right direction Friday night against the Clippers. A win would establish the team’s second three-game winning streak of the year.

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