Portland Trail Blazers guard Wesley Matthews believes he’s one of the top shooting guards in the NBA, and he wants to start getting paid accordingly this summer.
Matthews, an unrestricted free agent as of July 1, is said to be looking for a contract in the $15 million per year range.
The versatile 28-year-old is coming off a season-ending left Achilles tendon tear, and earned $7.2 million in the final year of his deal.
Per the USA Today:
Would teams have less interest in the 28-year-old who was such a pivotal two-way player in Portland, or would they perhaps downplay their interest as a way of landing him on a discounted deal? And with Blazers teammate LaMarcus Aldridge so widely believed to be strongly considering the notion of playing somewhere in Texas, was there a way that a team like the San Antonio Spurs or the Mavericks could get Matthews first as a way of raising Aldridge’s interest in following his beloved teammate? […] With the wheeling and dealing set to begin on July 1, those answers still remain to be seen. But this much is clear: Matthews has no plans on being any team’s free agency bargain because of his injury.
According to a person with knowledge of Matthews’ situation, he is seeking a multi-year deal that pays approximately $15 million annually.
Matthews has already returned to basketball activities, and he is expected to be fully healthy and ready to play at the start of the regular season. He is on track to be active once training camps begin in October, but is likely to ease his way into the preseason. Matthews, a strong defender who averaged a career-high 16.4 points per game two seasons ago and 15.9 points per game in the 2014-15, has been playing at an All-Star caliber level for quite some time now and is confident that he’ll return to that level next season.