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Report: Wes Matthews Declines 2020-2021 Player Option, Becomes Free Agent

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The first domino falls in Milwaukee’s offseason

Milwaukee Bucks v Chicago Bulls

Gone so soon? To be determined.

With the NBA’s transaction period set to open up on Monday, November 16th, we’ve begun to see movement across the league as players decide to opt in or out on options for the 2020-2021 season. It turns out that Wes Matthews has decided to opt out of his $2.7 million deal for this coming season and will become an unrestricted free agent:

A couple of quick thoughts:

  1. Wes can likely earn more than the $2.7 million he was set to make this year after having taken a discount veteran minimum deal to ring chase with Milwaukee in 2019-2020
  2. This doesn’t preclude him from re-signing with the Bucks on another deal at a higher value if both sides want to make it work
  3. He’s 34 years old, just came off a season where he played in 67 games, shot .396/.364/.765, defended his rear off, and generally did everything Milwaukee could have asked for him as the fifth starter. If he thinks there is a better situation elsewhere, you can’t say he didn’t try while here

The guy is an iron man who leant value to the Bucks on both ends of the floor, spacing out an offense stuck with two hammers-in-search-of-nails in Giannis/Eric, and his defense saw him picking up tough assignments like James Harden and Jimmy Butler all year long. If Milwaukee is unable to bring him back that is another hole in the starting lineup that needs filling (assuming Eric Bledsoe gets moved on eventually).

Thanks for the season, Wes. I’m sure it won’t take long to find a new employer: