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On SportsBeat Sunday, Tom Kirkland talked with Wesley Matthews' agent, Lance Young, about his 5 year $34 million dollar contract from the Blazers. The Jazz have an opportunity to match in the next seven days, if they so choose.
Here is the transcript of the conversation.
Tom Kirkland - "Lance, first of all, thanks for joining us tonight."
Lance Young - "No problem, how are you?
Kirkland - "We're doing well. Maybe not as well as Wesley Matthews, that's pretty certain. How is he dealing with this best week of his NBA career?"
Young -" I really don't think it's sunk in yet. You know, I talked to him and we discussed the whole deal before signing yesterday and I said ‘Man, Wesley, you need to have a smile on your face. This is a big time thing,' and he said, ‘It just really hasn't sunk in yet. It's hard to believe I'm going to be signing for this much money to play basketball.'"
Kirkland - "Yeah, no doubt. The offer sheet, $34 million over 5 years includes $9.2 million in the first year. It's kind of a special "Wes Matthews Max", unheard of for a second year, undrafted, restricted free agent. Are you surprised that Portland ponied up like that?"
Young - "Well, I mean, I think they saw Wes's value and they said, ‘You know what, he's a restricted free agent. We need to, um, so if we're going to go after him then we need to come to the plate with our biggest bat and take a swing and see what happens.' So I think they said, we're just gonna do everything they can to see if we can get him, um, and kind of see what happens."
Kirkland - "Alright, take us through this whole process. I know the Spurs and the Blazers reportedly were interested along with the Jazz. When did it start to pick up in the last week or so?"
Young - "Um, you know, I think after they saw the Carlos Boozer deal go down, um, I got a little more interest. But, you know, Portland was the first team to call. And they called me at 12:01 and Kevin O'Connor called at 12:02. They (Blazers) said that Wes was their number one target from day one. And they went after him aggressively and we're gonna see what happens."
Kirkland - "Yeah, no doubt. What do you expect? You mentioned Kevin O'Connor. What do you expect Kevin O'Connor and the Jazz will do? Once again Portland has front-loaded a deal. They did the same last year with Paul Millsap--they decided to match that. Do you have any insight on what they might be thinking, based on your conversations with Kevin?"
Young - "No--not at all. I have no clue. Obviously I think most people out there didn't think that Wesley Matthews was going to be front-loaded with all the bells and whistles to it so I know that Utah is looking at that, you know, wishing that it hadn't been so pricey but, you know, I think they really value Wesley so we'll have to wait and see what happens on Tuesday uh, of next week."
Kirkland - "Right. Either way Wes wins, and all of his hard work, right place, right time, and the work ethic pays off for him."
Young - "Right, right. And I told Wesley um, Portland is very similar to Utah--as far as the fan base is very, very loyal. They both have great coaches, great teams, the cities--you know, it's the only game in town--the Jazz and the Blazers are packing the arena every night so it's not a huge change but, um, if you ask Wesley where he'd rather be he just says he wants to play basketball next year and win. You know, he wants to be in the playoffs and win more than one round like he did this year. He'd love to go two or three rounds and eventually win a championship."
Kirkland - "Well, congratulations to you on your good work. We appreciate you joining us live tonight and we'll be following you in the next week or so. Appreciate it."
Young - "Great. Thanks a lot. Have a good night."
Kirkland - "You too."