Blazers sign Matthews to offer sheet

From an undrafted rookie to an occasional starter with the Utah Jazz, guard Wesley Matthews’(notes) remarkable first season made another dramatic turn: He’s signed a five-year offer sheet worth about $33 million with the Portland Trail Blazers, a league executive with knowledge of the deal told Yahoo! Sports.

The Blazers offered their full midlevel exception in a frontloaded contract that includes a $9.2 million payday in the first year in hopes it would be too expensive for the Jazz to match and keep Matthews, the source said. The Blazers had considered making an offer to Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Farmar(notes), sources said, but turned to Matthews after a meeting with him on Friday.

Matthews signed the offer sheet Saturday in Las Vegas. The Jazz will have seven days to match.

The Jazz are fond of Matthews, whom they signed as an undrafted free agent out of Marquette. He played 82 games last season, averaging 9.4 points. His ability to defend on the perimeter is an important reason why the Blazers have been so resolved to sign him.

The Blazers signed Jazz forward Paul Millsap(notes) to a four-year, $32 million offer sheet last summer, but Utah matched and kept him.


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Updated Saturday, Jul 10, 2010