NBA veteran Wesley Matthews is leaving one contender for another. The 34-year-old sent a picture of a Los Angeles Lakers jersey to Yahoo Sports’ Chris Haynes as soon as free agency opened on Friday evening.
Matthews intends to join the defending champion Lakers on a one-year, $3.6 million deal, per The Athletic’s Shams Charania. The 6-foot-4 wing played for the Milwaukee Bucks on a veteran’s minimum contract last season, starting 67 games and averaging 7.2 points on 36.4% shooting from three-point range.
Matthews declined a $2.7 million player option to return to the Bucks earlier this week.
He is an affordable replacement for Danny Green, the veteran wing who the Lakers traded in a deal to acquire Sixth Man of the Year winner Dennis Schroder that was finalized on draft night. Green started 68 games for them during the regular season, averaging eight points on 36.7 percent shooting from distance.
The Lakers have a number of rotational players hitting the free-agency market. Kentavious Caldwell-Pope is a priority. He did well to fill his role as a two-way complementary wing to LeBron James and Anthony Davis during the playoffs. Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Markieff Morris and Dwight Howard are also free agents.
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