Ex-Lakers Guard Signs Contract With Eastern Conference Team: Report

wes matthews

Getty Former Los Angeles Lakers guard Wesley Matthews.

Many of the top NBA free agents have already landed with teams, but there are still some good players available. According to a July 21 tweet from ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Atlanta Hawks have struck a deal with veteran guard Wesley Matthews.

Matthews has been in the NBA for 14 seasons and most recently played for the Milwaukee Bucks and the Los Angeles Lakers. In his prime with the Portland Trail Blazers, he averaged 15.4 points a game but has seen his productivity decline in recent years. He averaged only 3.4 points a game with the Bucks last season. He’s seen more as a 3-and-D role player at this stage in his career.

Matthews is 36 now and could be entering the final years of his career. The Hawks are an interesting landing spot for him. The team has made the playoffs in each of the last three seasons and is still young. Matthews will bring an experienced veteran presence to the team. If he can play solid defense and hit some threes, he can be a good addition for Atlanta.

Los Angeles Lakers Face Competition for Christian Wood

The Lakers aren’t done adding to their roster quite yet. They have two spots available and want to use one to add another center. Christan Wood has been a popular choice from fans for the team to sign. He’s from Los Angeles, California, and averaged 16.6 points a game last season.

While the Lakers remain the favorite, Dan Woike of the Los Angeles Times is now reporting that they will face some competition to land the big man.

“According to sources familiar with the team’s free-agent pursuits but not authorized to speak publicly, the Chicago Bulls are suddenly viewed as a potential threat that could keep the Lakers from landing Wood,” Woike wrote in a July 19 newsletter.

“The reason? Chicago recently got a $10.2-million player exception because of Lonzo Ball’s knee injury that’s expected to keep him off the court next season. The Bulls can use some or all of that money to acquire a player via trade or sign a player to a one-year free-agent deal.”

The Lakers don’t only need to watch out for the Bulls. The Eastern Conference champions from last season could also be taking a look at Wood.

“Sources also believe that the Miami Heat could be a suitor for Wood, particularly if they’re able to pull off a Damian Lillard trade,” Woike wrote. “The Heat were rumored to be in the market for Dario Saric before he picked Golden State and the Lakers had interest in Saric as well.”

How Christian Wood Can Help Cement LeBron James’ Legacy

Christian Wood is only 27 and one of the most productive scoring big men in the NBA, so why hasn’t he signed with a team yet? It could be due to personality issues. According to Dan Woike, Wood can be so difficult that he could help LeBron James‘ case for greatest basketball player ever.

“If LeBron [James] can get him to toe the line, it cements LeBron as the greatest player of all time,” one NBA source told Woike. “That’s how hard it is.”

If Wood is truly that difficult to work with, perhaps the Lakers are better off without him. That said, adding him on a veteran’s minimum would make it easy to move on from him if he’s becoming too much of an issue.

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