Assessing Wesley Matthews’ fit and role with the Atlanta Hawks
In today’s NBA, wings are becoming more and more important with each passing hour, it seems. Matthews won’t be the needle-tipping addition for the Atlanta Hawks, but he can help as they look to keep their wing depth stocked at all times. Even at 36 years old, he can still produce when given an opportunity on the court in some capacity as well.
The biggest area Matthews will help the Hawks is defensively. Over the last two seasons, he was one of the Milwaukee Bucks’ primary defenders against top-notch wings. When Jayson Tatum or Kevin Durant came to town, Matthews oftentimes spent plenty of time guarding them. The wing will be tasked with doing the same for the Hawks, which could make him a very quality addition as they look to be more improved on defense next season.
At one time in his career, Matthews was also a very reliable outside shooter. He’s been streaky in recent memory, but it would certainly help if he can find a groove from the perimeter in Atlanta. He’d be yet another outside threat on the roster.
Matthews will not be leaping Bogdan Bogdanovic, De’Andre Hunter, Saddiq Bey, or any of Atlanta’s other primary wings in the rotation. However, there is certainly room for him to get minutes due to the aforementioned defense he will provide. He’ll likely see somewhere around 10-15 minutes per game, primarily when there are tough matchups on the wing afoot. Having him around could take significant pressure off of players like Bogdanovic or Bey when they are on the court together.
In short, Matthews is a great fit, and he’ll fit nicely into the rotation, even in a smaller role.