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Ranking the Roster 2019: Wesley Matthews Sent Packing at #6

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The veteran shooting guard and Madison native will be another respectable shooter on the roster

Dallas Mavericks v Milwaukee Bucks Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

Of all the free agent signings this offseason, Wesley Matthews looms as the one presumed to offer the Milwaukee Bucks the most production, and by extension, the most value. Given his minimum contract and the belief he should slot into the starting lineup to begin the season, this seemed like an inevitably from the start of this exercise. While it wasn’t apparent how much higher than holdover Bucks he may rise, sixth seems about right in my mind.

With the presumption of production also comes the pressure of expectations. Matthews has the largest shoes to fill with Malcolm Brogdon walking this offseason to join the Indiana Pacers. There was never going to be a one-to-one replacement in the cards this offseason, but Matthews will take up the most room in the substitute Nike’s Coach Bud is using to cover Brogdon’s scoring and playmaking prowess.

There is no question that Matthews shooting ability comes relatively close to Brogdon’s, even if it’s not quite as hyper efficient. Nailing 38.2% career on 5.6 attempts/game is nothing to sneeze at though. Many would argue that’s a worthwhile tradeoff given the degree of difficulty common to Matthews’ shot diet. In his three years, Brogdon only attempted 14 3-pointers with a defender “tight” (2-4 feet away). In those same three years, Matthews attempted 122 of those shots. Granted the best he shot in a season on those was 32.4%, but it still lends itself to Bud’s theory of gravity creating more opportunities for Giannis.

We know he can sling it, but is there anything else offensively Matthews can offer? The biggest issue for this team is finding other drivers, creators off the dribble who can mimic what Brogdon did from time-to-time and catch his defender wrong-footed with a sweet kiss off the glass finish. Unfortunately, that time of Matthews career has likely passed him by, particularly since he tore his achilles several years ago in Portland. The best hope for most Bucks fans is that his complementary role in Milwaukee will mean less minutes, less responsibility, and in turn, increased efficiency. More open shots, wider driving lanes and fewer defenses feeling the need to hone in on him when the offense is flowing.

Defensively, his age has sapped some of his agility, but he can still be a bully against guards trying to take him down low. He’s built well and won’t get knocked over against folks trying to ram their way to the rim for a finish. Veteran savvy should serve him well in Bud’s system, where wings must responsibly force action into the awaiting arms of the freakishly tall frontline the Bucks employ at the rim. Here’s a link to the full voting results.

Click here to vote for the next least valuable Buck


2019 Brew Hoop Roster Ranking

6. Wesley Matthews

7. Pat Connaughton

8. Robin Lopez

9. Kyle Korver

10. Sterling Brown

11. D.J. Wilson

12. Ersan Ilyasova

13. Donte DiVincenzo

14. Dragan Bender

15. Thanasis Antetokounmpo