The Dallas Mavericks always feel like they’re in a ‘win now’ kind of mode, regardless of the players on the team. But there’s a bit more patience heading into next season, especially with the still recovering Wesley Matthews.
Matthews, who tore his ACL on March 5, signed a four-year deal worth $70 million with the Dallas Mavericks, as the inability to sign DeAndre Jordan basically boosted Matthews’ salary into max-player territory. And with that pressure added to the whole package, Matthews is still going to be watched very closely and not rushed onto the court, at least according to Rick Carlisle.
We’ve done research on it. We’ve talked to his people, and we talked to the doctor that did the surgery. Casey has all that information. He’s definitely on track for a full recovery, but we’re going to be erring on the side of being conservative and cautioned. I think the most important thing is that he makes a full recovery, because we’re signing him to a four-year deal. The first year is more about making sure that he’s right and getting him out there on the right terms, and from there we want him to make a full recovery and continue to get better.
I wonder if Mark Cuban feels the same. Cuban wasn’t happy when Dirk Nowitzki took his time in the 2012-2013 season when recovering from his injury, and two had some sort of falling out during the time, at least that’s what the rumors suggest. The Mavericks missed the playoffs that year, and it won’t be surprising to see them missing the postseason as well in 2016.
Matthews does come with a lot of expectations on his shoulders. Monta Ellis might not have been too popular with his coach and teammates, but he missed only two games during his two seasons in Dallas, played 35.3 minutes a night and averaged 19 points per game. Matthews, when healthy, has never played on average more than 34.8 minutes a night and has never averaged more than 16.4 points per game.
Obviously, the Mavericks don’t need someone to fill in the exact numbers. Matthews doesn’t attack the basket and focus on pick and rolls as much as Ellis does. He’s a better 3-point shooter, doesn’t hog the ball and is a much better defender who can also play the small forward positions in smaller lineups. If he’s back from his injury without any withstanding repercussions, the Mavericks made a good deal.