Analysis: Portland Trail Blazers' Decision to Sign Wes Matthews

| by Dwight Jaynes

For some reason, The Oregonian did not have any interest in reporting on this story this morning. At times, I think they really don’t WANT you to buy their print product and would rather you find your news online somewhere.

Anyway, Wesley Matthews is a Trail Blazer, apparently, and the big question is what does that mean?

Well, as we said before, it portends more moves ahead this summer. Portland will be buying a backup for Brandon Roy at a very high price next season — $9.2 million. Which means Matthews is going to be playing a lot.

And it means there will be little or no playing time for Jerryd Bayless and Rudy Fernandez. Bayless is not a point guard — he’s established that. Fernandez is nothing but an off-guard — and one who has totally played his way out of the rotation here. So both are going to have to be dealt because neither is going to stick around for another season in a role where he doesn’t get significant playing time.

And it only makes sense that if you make any sort of 2-for-1 or 3-for-1 deal it’s got to be the big deal we’ve been waiting for here for a couple of seasons.

That deal has to be for a point guard. All other positions are covered and Andre Miller isn’t expected to be the player who will see this group through its window of opportunity. He’s too old. Plus, it appears the front office has bought into Nate McMillan’s vision that Roy has got to have the ball in his hands all the time and that the point guard has to be a big-time outside shooter. Miller will never qualify for that role.

I also believe there is probably already something in the works in this regard. If there isn’t, Portland will be seeking a deal out of weakness and not strength. I mean, everyone in the league now knows Bayless and Fernandez must be dealt, putting the team in a real position of weakness in any sort of deal.

I keep hearing Mo Williams is the target but I’m not sure how Houston matching the Cavs’ offer for Kyle Lowry affects any potential Portland deal. Everyone expects Cleveland, a real mess with the departure of LeBron James, to be active this summer in a frantic effort to rebuild. And the Cavs need players — a lot of them.

Jason Terry and Devin Harris also seem like possible targets. You may have more. I also don’t think a new GM needs to be on board for this to get done. Obviously, Portland has a structure in place allowing it to function in a workmanlike manner or the Matthews deal would not have gotten done.

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