If Milwaukee Bucks fever didn’t infect you, the Marquette Golden Eagles fan, last season, well, I hate to break it to you, but we’re going to see a stronger strain of it next year.
As a part of the flurry of activity as NBA free agency kicked off, the Bucks have reportedly signed former Marquette star Wesley Matthews to a veteran minimum contract. It’s unclear at this point if it’s just a one year veteran minimum or longer, but at this point in Matthews’ career, I’d wager it’s only one year. In any case, as a player with 10 years of experience, Wesley has maxed out the veteran minimum and will be making just north of $2.5 million in 2019-20.
2018-19 was probably the most tumultuous season in Matthews’ NBA career. After being in charge of his first three stops by way of starting as an undrafted free agent, Matthews was traded for the first time back in January as part of the deal that sent Kristaps Porzingis to Dallas Mavericks. After playing two games with the New York Knicks, Matthews was released and then signed as a free agent with the Indiana Pacers. He started all 23 games that he appeared in for Indiana, averaging 10.9 points, 2.8 rebounds, and 2.4 assists while shooting 37% from long range.
It’s that last number that’s probably the most attractive to the Bucks. Because of salary cap reasons, they had to let Malcolm Brogdon go. Brogdon was a career 41% three-point shooter in his three seasons with the Bucks, and if Milwaukee wants to repeat their Eastern Conference Finals performance and take the next step to the NBA Finals, they’re going to need someone to fill in for Brogdon in the shooting department. Matthews is a wily vet who shot — and this is not a joke — an effective field goal percentage of 71% when wide open last year. I don’t know that Matthews will end up in the starting lineup as Brogdon did, but he has been a starter at every single stop he’s made in the NBA, so it wouldn’t be surprising.
The details of Matthews’ contract are yet to be officially announced, so we’ll see what happens for sure in that regard. What we do know for sure is that 1) a former Marquette player is joining a team with NBA Championship aspirations and 2) he’s doing that right in Milwaukee, and miiiiiiight just be tempted to hang around the McGuire Center here and there.
None of this can be a bad thing for anybody involved.
For more on the Bucks and Matthews this season, be sure to stop by our SB Nation friends over at Brew Hoop.