Matthews: No hometown discount for Jazz

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SALT LAKE CITY -- A little over a month ago Greg Miller was on SportsBeat and said, "Wesley's (Matthews) been one of the great experiences for me, with my involvement in the NBA. I'm just thankful he's a member of the Jazz and I personally hope he is for a long long time to come."

Now free agency has hit, and the Jazz are not the only team that appreciates the restricted free agent's skill set. The Blazers and Spurs are among those seeking his services. The leagues best bargain at $450,000 last season, but all of that is about to change.

Here is my interview with Wesley Matthews on SportsBeat Sunday.

TOM KIRKLAND: With several teams interested in signing you, including the Jazz who can match any offer and keep you here, what is this process like? The last week must have been crazy?

MATTHEWS: A little bit, but it's been more crazy for my agent. I'm just relaxing and staying in the gym and enjoying the whole process at the same time, a complete one eighty from where I was last year.

KIRKLAND: You're about to increase your salary by maybe 10 times, I know that's not why you play this game, but this is going to change your life where ever it ends up, isn't it?

MATTHEWS: Yeah, it is and I'm excited about that, not only for me but for my family. I play this game because I love it, but I also play this game for my family because it provides something that I wouldn't be able to do elsewhere.

KIRKLAND: How did you make this all happen? You came to the Jazz as a undrafted free agent, impressed coach Sloan, started to earn minutes, you played in all 82 regular season games. When did it start to turn for you during the season?

MATTHEWS: I just started to get more comfortable. I know it's hard for any one team to trust an undrafted free agent, but some unfortunate things happened to some players and they just threw me into the fire and I responded as such. As I got more playing time, I got more comfortable and a little bit more of me was coming out on the court.

KIRKLAND: I know what your agent Lance Young is telling everybody, that as a playoff starter, you played the third most minutes behind Deron Williams and Carlos Boozer. You averaged 13 points and 4 rebounds. You shot 36 percent from three point country, that must have been a big jump for you to play in the playoffs and contribute.

MATTHEWS: Yes! My thing is, through the whole point of my career I've gotten better every year. In college my last year was my best year and I seem to progress. And like I said, as I get more comfortable and get more confidence with the people around me the sky really is the limit.

KIRKLAND: Has there been a big buzz at your camp last week? It's not just the Wesley Matthews camp, everybody knows what your going through now.

MATTHEWS: Yes, the camp in Utah was great. I thank all the sponsors, parents and all the kids for coming out. It was a lot of fun giving back and to be embraced by the community the way that I was is just unbelievable.

KIRKLAND: Have you talked to Deron in this whole process?

MATTHEWS: I talked to him a couple of times. I didn't talk to him about the process. Just how it's going, how's the family. He was doing a camp out in Chicago just stuff like that.

KIRKLAND: How about Paul Millsap? He has been where you are at right now. Have you had a chance to pick his brain about this process?

MATTHEWS: Yes, the main thing he told me was to be patient. Be patient and God has got this. He's taken me this far. Also, trust my agent. Trust everything will go accordingly. My job is to stay in the gym and get better.

KIRKLAND: Last thought. Is there a home team discount coming or does the offer trump everything else?

MATTHEWS: I got to go with the business decision. The best thing for the Jazz is they have the last take, the last hand to play.

KIRKLAND: We sure hope to see you here in the Jazz new uniforms next year. Continued good luck and we will be following this. Thanks a lot for joining us on SportsBeat Sunday.


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Tom Kirkland, SportsBeat


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