Jalen Rose believes Wesley Matthews could join the Bulls

ESPN and Grantlander, Jalen Rose, with his bat mind you, believes Wesley Matthews could join the Bulls this summer as a free agent.

(41:05 mark)

On the surface, Matthews on the Bulls makes a ton of sense. He's a Marquette guy who played one season with Jimmy Butler, he's a highly effective shooter who drains the three-ball at 38.9% on a ridiculous high volume (7.4 attempts per game), and his defense is frankly underrated.

What doesn't make sense however, is how the Bulls should acquire him. They have no raw cap space, meaning they'd have to pull off a sign-and-trade, which is no easy task when we're talking about a player who will demand at a minimum $12 million a year, even after suffering a torn achilles this season.

(Additionally, even if Matthews make sense on the court, you have to wonder if it's a good idea for the Bulls to pick up a player who's suffered that sort of injury. The Bulls aren't exactly lacking in the injury department, so bringing in someone who just suffered a wildly devastating injury might not be a tremendous good idea, regardless of how well Matthews fits on paper.)

One could argue that Mattews won't get $12 million from anyone considering his injury, but this is the NBA. There's always the Knicks some team willing to take a gamble involving millions upon millions of dollars, so by all accounts this is the ballpark figure the Bulls will be looking at. And to make matters even more complicated, Portland might be going into a small rebuilding process if LaMarcus Aldridge leaves, meaning the Bulls won't exactly be able to impress the Blazers with offers of Pau Gasol and Tony Snell in compensation.

It'd make some sense for Portland if Robin Lopez leaves, but they retain Aldridge. Then they'd need a center, and Gasol would fit that bill nicely, even if his defensive skills are somewhat lacking when leaving the rim area. Offensively, however, Portland would instantly be looking at one of the best 4/5 duos in the league, which might help ease the loss of Matthews going to Chicago.

But if Aldridge leaves, Portland would insist on a package that included picks and young players for Matthews, and that's a mighty big gamble for the Bulls even if you ignore the achilles tear.

This brings me to Virginia swingman Justin Anderson who, according to DraftExpress, should be available when the Bulls pick in this month's draft at 22.

(Kevin States wrote about him here)

There is no way the 22nd pick in the draft will come in and produce at a Wesley Matthews level, which is for all intents and purposes near All-Star production, but Anderson is the type of guy who can at least mimic the role of Matthews in some capacity. He's not one you leave open from downtown, he's active defensively, he's got a wide frame, and he even has some midrange game. What separates him from Matthews is naturally the lack of high-volume and experience, but it might still be preferable to invest $5,712,922 over four years in Anderson, than $48 - 50 million in Matthews, especially considering that Matthews will be 29 by the time the season starts, and thus be in his 30's for 75% of his contract time. Anderson could be a very similar player to Matthews production wise by year three, but at a fraction of the price, and possibly without injury concerns.

To be clear; as a player, Anderson is less preferable to Matthews right now. As a contract however, this might not be the case, especially if Fred Hoiberg is willing to give young players a chance to earn minutes right off the bat. Plus, you get to avoid any potential achilles complications.


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  • The logical move would be to trade Noah and a 1st (or two firsts) - to either Portland or to some other team and then sign Matthews outright.

    Let's be honest, if all goes as planned, the Bulls first round picks are going to be 24+ in the draft the next 3 years - unless Rose continues to miss entire seasons.

    The Sactown pick is somewhat more valuable - if you think the Kings will be good enough to get out of the bottom 10, otherwise, it's not even a 1st rounder after another couple years. I think that with Karl the Kings can contend for the playoffs, maybe not make the playoffs, but get within earshot. I would think that most GMs would agree on that possibility and find value in that pick.

  • First, I wanna say the bulls gave up two first round picks for McDermott so in all honesty he should be starting next year ready or not. Second, I would love a player like Matthews on the team but too bad all our cap is spent.

    We have over 15 million on two players who can't hit the right side of the barn ( Noah and Hinrich ) over 10 million to a recently relieved coach ( Thibs ) and we still have over 13.5 million tied to Boozer this year. The only way the Bulls can get anything done this year is through sign and trade but the problem is the trade value on the players we really need to trade is almost non existent. Noah ( Knee ) Gibson ( Ankle ) Rose ( Knees ) Gasol just got here and did a good job so it wouldn't even look right trading him, Hinrich has no value, and everyone else is either free agents or scrubs. The only ones we could trade for any value is Mirotic and McDermott but seeing as how we barely played them last season it wouldn't make a lot of sense.

    I believe a trade can be done, but with the trade value so diminished on our players I have a feeling we're gonna end up on the losing end of any trade and we can't even afford to stomach any salary. I do think we need to move at least one of our bigs but the problem is they're all one dimensional players. Move Gasol and now the front courts hurting for offense, move Noah and that only leaves Gasol at center for defense, Move Taj and you just got rid of our only true power forward, and it would make little sense to trade Mirotic. As much as I hate to say it the Bulls best option this year is to keep their draft pick and make no moves. The best thing they can do right now is try to retain Jimmy Butler.

  • Screw going after Matthews if he wants more than MLE money.

    Go find a list of players with torn achilles that came back and played well. The list isn't real big, and Matthews was only a role player to begin with.

  • In reply to DougThonus:

    Hard to believe that you have such strong feelings about a guy like Mathews.

    He was exactly the type of role player the Bulls needed, at least prior to his injury, would have been a great fit with Butler and a huge upgrade over Dunleavy. However, now that he has been injured(in addition to his age) you are correct, the risk to a long term big money contract doesn't seem worth it.

    Given his injury situation, I find it hard to believe that he will get 4/48. Maybe, he has no choice and makes a bet on himself and does a one year deal to prove himself and get bigger money next year when the cap blows up.

    Prior to the injury, I would have greatly prefered Mathews to a guy like Lance Stephenson, who I wanted no part of.

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    In reply to DougThonus:

    I completely agree! If he can continue to shoot at a consistent clip the contract wouldn't be too bad but with his latest injury I wouldn't even sign him for more than the MLE after 2 years.

  • If a team is going to maximize what they get for their salaries, they have to play moneyball. That means, favorable cost/benefit ratios for all singings!

    The Hinrich resinging has looked stupid for a year, and a lot of us knew it at the time. If Thibs sold the FO on it, shame on the FO for buying the pitch.

    Moneyball throws out Matthews - the risk is too high. The team needs low risks for potential high rewards. Fans could wind up loving him, but it's more likely they could hate the signing for years.

    The Bulls likely could move up 6 spots in the draft for the Kings pick, but that could be a really dumb move. I doubt they could move up 10 spots for it.

  • On our Bulls 'possibly' signing Wesley Matthews, one thing no one here is considering is that Matthews can only play SG and that's the same position Jimmy Butler is already playing. Bottom line is we need 'consistent' 3 point shooting in the 'starting' lineup. So, for a Matthews signing to pay significant dividends, he needs to start which he would with most other teams.

    One argument someone can make here is, "Why don't just move Jimmy back to SF then?". Unfortunately this takes away Jimmy's most significant value to the position is that he so much bigger size and strength wise giving him a huge advantage against most other SG's. This in fact 'I believe' is the major reason we saw his rise in scoring production this year is that most other SG's simply can't guard him. It took finally listening to others, off season work, and finally confidence his shot to be more aggressive offensively. If Jimmy moves back to SF, I believe we'll see those numbers come back down again (perhaps not to 2013 numbers) as he'll be usually playing against players his size or bigger. Understood he already 'generally' guards the opposing star wing but not all teams have a LeBron or Harden. Also there are many more SF's out there that are better defenders than their SG team mates further contributing to this 'more than likely' decline in offensive numbers.

    Fact: we know the Bulls will focus efforts on signing Butler so definitely won't be replaced by someone like Matthews. So that theory can't be the reason for a Matthews signing either.

    Bottom line is, I think Jalen Rose was simply thinking off the top of this head and he wasn't really referencing any real source information...and that I'm seriously confident the Bulls won't be signing Wesley Matthews.

  • In reply to EDouble:

    I agree with you. Jimmy butler's height and strength advantage over opposing shooting guards is what made him a star. Even the stats prove that Butler plays much better at the 2 than the 3. What we really need is a 3 and D guy that could start for us, and that keeps everyone at their natural positions. This has been one of the Bulls biggest problem almost every season; We always have a hole in the starting lineup. In the Deng era other than John Salmons we never really had a true shooting guard until Deng was on his way out and Butler was just coming around. Now we have our shooting Guard in Butler but have a hole at the 3 this time. Dunleavy does a good job at times but he's too streaky to be a consistent starter.

  • Not sure if Matthews is the risk for the Bulls to take, but they're not going from good to great without taking some risks. The thing with risk is that it might not work out, that's why they call it risk. For those seeking low risk with high upside: Good luck with that.

    Several years ago, Golden State risked $44MM on an undersized PG with a bad ankle. They'd look pretty stupid if Curry's ankle woes had continued, instead they look like geniuses. But if you think they are in fact geniuses, you're dead wrong. They rolled the dice and got lucky, and there's a lot more of that going on than most want to admit.

  • Jalen Rose pulls a rabbit out of his a.. uh hand, and so the summer free agent rumor mill begins. Summer fantasy leagues aka mock team building along with the draft are what we also rans have to fall back on. Enter Wesley Matthews.

    Matthews for the minutes he plays, his rebounding numbers are somewhat underwhelming. Likewise his steals. Most of the time starter minutes type players on winning teams rebound better then this guy. Other then that though, it's hard to argue he wouldn't be a nice add with his excellent offensive numbers.. except for that little ACL thing. Sorry, think I'll have to pass. Might be different if MLE followed ACL as Doug suggested.

    While were on the subject of fantasy team adds, I'll tell you what takes a lot of the fun out of summer team (re)building are these long term guaranteed contracts. If a player was guaranteed two to three years then portability would make for exciting off seasons that's for sure. Though if you're the fan with the loaded team the last thing you want is guys leaving every other year. Plus if you want players to get their fair share as 'workers' then you'd have to take away something from the owners as well. Like say cutting down owner profits aka ticket prices and say for both sides, "hey sports isn't 'just a business.'" It should and used to be for the betterment of the working man(and women).

    Sorry for the tangent, but I think the NBA and American pastimes should be about enriching society and not really a huge profit motivation/expectation. For fans, players, and owners, it should be for the love of the game and hence the love of society. But hey, we know things are not going back to the way they were so put a sock in it old man Smithers aka me.

    Besides in the 'good old days' players were getting sorely underpaid even when tickets and access to big time sports for regular folks was at it's height, and that was wrong without a doubt. I guess a middle ground with contract lengths though like say four years max might suffice. That and three years of minor league/Euro basketball or three years in college focused on fundamentals for entertainment aka quality of the game at the major league/pro level i.e the NBA. Not to mention contraction of the bottom four perennially money losing i.e not fan supported franchises. Thus enhancing the quality of play and at the same time upgrading the talent threshold by weeding out the league's dregs.

    Lastly, in this off the rails emancipation proclamation of sorts, the off time for players like Westbrook, Rose, and now Kyrie Irving needs to become a priority if the game and the Finals are not to lose their biggest stars. AAU aka extended off seasons and tournaments need to go bye, bye. Alright enough said. Yeah, like three paragraphs ago.

  • everybody look why are the Bulls trying to pick up a card if I was Chicago I will focus on signing Jimmy Butler first and trying to get a center that can make layups and if you want to keep Joakim Noah I will pick up a center like Roy Hilbert he might not be aggressive like he was but he can make lay ups.. and make Joakim Noah work for his position and possibly bringing him off the bench if he don't like it and then trade him otherwise go look for another small for and bring Mike Dunleavy off the bench

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    The Bulls bigger offseason move has to be trading Joakim Noah. I love the guy but he kills us every year in the playoffs with his lack of shooting and shot making in general. Problem is....I can't think of a situation that makes sense for both sides. A team that would\want Noah and a team that has something of value to offer the Bulls other than draft picks, which have zero cap value in a trade.

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