The Milwaukee Bucks signed veteran Wesley Matthews on Friday to rejoin the team after playing with them in the 2019-20 season. Last season, he played for the Los Angeles Lakers but hasn't been on a team to start the season.
The Bucks have had some unfortunate injuries early on, including Brook Lopez, who just had back surgery. Milwaukee decided to bring in DeMarcus Cousins to help fill that role while Brook recovers from his surgery. Any of the added depth that can help this Bucks team is much needed, they saw a season ago if they want to win an NBA title like they did last year, they need to be healthy.
When Matthews was in Milwaukee, he found a good amount of success. He shot the three-pointer at over a 36% rate, and also played high-level defense. If he can continue to do what he did for the Bucks as he did back in the 2019-20 season, he will be a serviceable ninth or tenth man off the bench for this team.
Let's take a look at four reasons why the Bucks made a good decision on re-signing Wesley Matthews.
Why It Was Smart That The Bucks Added Wesley Matthews
4. He adds depth to the bench unit
If the Milwaukee Bucks want to win another NBA title this season, they need their three stars healthy. Giannis, Khris Middleton, and Jrue Holiday have all missed time for injury purposes or COVID-19.
Wesley Matthews isn't somebody who's going to be a starter like he was two seasons ago for this team, but if he can continue being serviceable like he has throughout his entire career, he can eat up bench minutes and allow some nights off for other guys. Milwaukee will already have arguably the deepest bench in the NBA when everybody is healthy. The bench unit of George Hill, Bobby Portis, Pat Connaughton, possibly Donte DiVincenzo when he returns from injury if they decide not to start him, and either Semi Ojeleye or Matthews, would be an incredible bench to roll out for five to 10 minutes a night in the playoffs.
This was a great move because they can have another serviceable bench piece that can eat up minutes and still be positive when on the floor against other bench units. There is a chance that he doesn't even get playoff minutes, but if he does, he adds some depth and will help this team out.
3. If he doesn't pan out, they lost a second-round pick
The Bucks decided to waive their former second-round pick of this past year's NBA draft, Georgios Kalaitzakis. There was likely no chance that he was going to ever be somebody who the Bucks were going to give serviceable minutes. If this move does not pan out the way that they like it with Wes, it doesn't hurt this team too much, if any at all.
2. Maybe he can be the PJ Tucker of this year's team?
Wesley is a bit older in his career and last season with the Lakers, he didn't look great. In Milwaukee, he did play some of the best basketball of his career and that could be contributed to playing alongside a guy like Giannis who makes his teammates better than arguably anybody in the league. This could be a good sign for the Bucks because if he can continue playing at the level that he did in Milwaukee, he will be a more than serviceable defender who can get stops against some of the best players in the NBA.
It is inevitable that the Bucks are going to have to take on the Brooklyn Nets and arguably the greatest scorer of all-time in Kevin Durant. PJ Tucker was the man who made it tough on KD a season ago, and Milwaukee needs somebody who could do the same thing.
They will probably throw Khris, Giannis, and Jrue at Durant but it's not an easy task, and it takes a lot of effort to contain him. There have to be guys who can be thrown at him for five to seven minutes a night and that's exactly what Wesley Matthews could possibly do for this team.
1. He can still shoot at a decent to above-average rate
If he can continue shooting at a 36% rate or higher, this is a perfect pick-up for the Bucks. Milwaukee loves to shoot the 3-point shot and when you play next to Giannis, you're always going to get more open looks than with any other guy in the NBA. Perhaps he could even get some big minutes come playoff time if he does shoot the three-point shot at that high of a rate.
This isn't exactly a huge move for the Bucks, but it's bigger than just the signing. If he could be somebody who could play 15-plus minutes a night in the regular season and help keep the workload off of their three big stars, then this move is 100% what needed to happen.