DALLAS – Dallas Mavericks guard Wesley Matthews understands all the hype surrounding the Dallas Mavericks’ first-round pick in the June 21 NBA Draft.
The Mavs will have the No. 5 overall pick in this year’s draft. And since this is reportedly a very deep draft, they’re guaranteed of landing a player who can be in their rotation next season.
However, Matthews threw up a caution sign following the Mavs Foundation Court Dedication on Wednesday at BridgeBuilders in the Bonton area of South Dallas. The nine-year veteran knows a lot of work must be done for the Mavs to drastically improve on this past season’s 24-58 record.
“It’s not just on the fifth pick,” Matthews said. “We can’t put all our eggs in him.
“We as basketball players, we’ve got to get better as well to help whoever it is that we do draft along, so that there’s not so much pressure. But everybody’s been taking it upon themselves to get better, everybody’s in the gym, so we’ll see what happens.”
Last month Matthews picked up the option year on his contract that’ll pay him $18.6 million next season. But he had to laugh at how the “signing” of that contract broke.
“It hit the media before I even (signed) it,” Matthews said. “I woke up one morning and they’re like, ‘You opted-in.’ I was like, ‘I didn’t know I did.’ “
Matthews missed the final 16 games of this season after sustaining a fracture to his right proximal fibula in the first quarter of a Mar. 10 home game against the Memphis Grizzlies. Yet, he acknowledged that there was never any doubt on whether he would pick up the option year on the final season of the four-year, $70 million free agent contract he signed with the Mavs in the summer of 2015.
“I was never worried about that in the first place,” Matthews said. “My concern was getting healthy and getting my leg back right, and it is.
“I’ve been working, I’ve been in the gym, I’ve been grinding and it’s been awesome.”