Dallas Mavericks

Year after joining Mavericks, Wesley Matthews still healing, watching free agency

Chat with Dallas Mavericks G Wesley Matthews ahead of Dirk Nowitzki's Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game

After his first season with the Mavs, Matthews is betting on himself in his charity baseball debut Friday at Frisco's Dr. Pepper Ballpark, even if his swing is a little rusty. He speaks with Star-Telegram reporters Brian Gosset and Matthew Martine
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After his first season with the Mavs, Matthews is betting on himself in his charity baseball debut Friday at Frisco's Dr. Pepper Ballpark, even if his swing is a little rusty. He speaks with Star-Telegram reporters Brian Gosset and Matthew Martine

For Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews, this off-season is a good time to heal and get better.

Matthews averaged 12.5 points, 3.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists for the Mavericks last season. He shot 38.8 percent from the field and 36 percent from 3-point range.

He also changed potential into production after arriving in Dallas basically as damaged goods from Portland through free agency last year.

On March 11, 2015, Matthews underwent surgery to repair his torn left Achilles. He was hurt March 4 for the Trail Blazers, coincidentally in a home game against the Mavericks.

“Leg feels good. We’re all ready to work, [and] try to make up some of the muscle difference in my right leg,” said Matthews at Dirk Nowitzki’s Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game this month. “Obviously, we didn’t have a chance to do that this season, you know with playing the whole season, but [it] feels good.”

My biggest thing right now is to make sure I’m right and doing all the work on my end.

Wesley Matthews, who continues to recover from a 2015 Achilles injury

Matthews started 78 games and averaged 33.9 minutes last season, despite not having a lot of down time to rest the Achilles. Dallas, with a late push, finished 42-40 and made the playoffs. The Mavericks were knocked out of the first round by Oklahoma City in five games.

“Healthy, but it was a tough season for all of us,” Matthews said. “Tough situation with everybody involved. I think we made the most out of all of it. There were things in there that obviously we wished we could’ve had back, performances we wished we could’ve done better in.”

The Mavericks look to free agency, which starts this week, to help them get better.

Similar to last season, the Mavericks are looking for an impact big man as their top priority. However, like most teams, they’re looking for talent at all positions, which led them to Matthews last year.

This time, Matthews will be watching the moves as a member of the Mavericks.

He’s the kind of guy that definitely loves what he does, and he brings a different kind of professionalism to his craft. If he’s got three more years, then he’s got three more years.

Wesley Matthews on Dirk Nowitzki

“Whatever they need me to do. My biggest thing right now is to make sure I’m right and doing all the work on my end. And, as free agency gets closer and closer, communicate more and try to figure out what we’re trying to do,” said Matthews, who signed a four-year deal with the Mavericks. “But for me, just continue to get healthy, continue to get better, like everybody else on this roster.”

Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki is expected to return after opting out of the final year of his contract. The move was for business reasons more so than looking for another team. In fact, the 13-time All-Star could play in Dallas for another two or three years.

“If he says he does, then he does,” Matthews said. “He’s the kind of guy that definitely loves what he does, and he brings a different kind of professionalism to his craft. If he’s got three more years, then he’s got three more years.”

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