According to Adrian Wojnarowski, the Portland Trail Blazers have decided to match the Dallas Mavericks’ offer sheet for restricted free agent . A $33 million, three-year contract was included in the offer sheet. This means that Matisse Thybulle will be returning to Portland and will continue playing for the Trail Blazers.
Offensive Potential: Portland Trail Blazers Banking on Matisse Thybulle’s Development
After spending three and a half seasons with the Philadelphia 76ers, 26-year-old Matisse Thybulle was traded to the Portland Trail Blazers before the trade deadline. Because of his outstanding defensive abilities, he was selected for the All-Defensive Second Team in 2021 and 2022. However, his playing time had decreased with the 76ers due to his offensive limitations.
Since joining the Blazers, Thybulle’s playing time has increased, averaging 27.7 minutes per game. Additionally, he has improved his offensive performance, making 38.8% of his three-point shots on 3.9 attempts a game on average. Thybulle’s time in Portland has allowed him to feel more comfortable and confident in his abilities.
Portland’s Faith in Thybulle: Matching the Mavericks’ Offer Sheet
By matching the offer sheet from the Mavericks, the Trail Blazers have secured Thybulle’s services for the next three years, ensuring that he remains a key part of their team.
The Dallas Mavericks may feel disappointed by the Portland Trail Blazers’ decision to match their offer sheet for Matisse Thybulle, as they were hoping to add an effective and versatile defender to their team. The Mavericks needed defensive reinforcements to complement their star players, Luka Doncic and Kyrie Irving, who played on a defense that was rated 25th previous season. If the Blazers had not matched the offer, the Mavericks would have acquired Thybulle at a fair price, which would have been beneficial for their team.
However, the blow is softened by the fact that the Mavericks were able to execute a sign-and-trade deal to acquire Grant Williams from the Boston Celtics. Williams signed a four-year, $54 million contract and is expected to fill the starting power forward position for the Mavericks.
A Promising Future: Thybulle’s Role in the Blazers’ Long-Term Plans
As for Thybulle’s role in Portland next season, it remains uncertain due to the unresolved situation with Damian Lillard. Lillard has expressed his desire to be traded to the Miami Heat, but the Blazers’ front office is actively seeking the best trade package available. Depending on the outcome of the Lillard trade, Thybulle could either retain his spot in the Blazers’ starting lineup or be replaced by a player acquired in the trade. Additionally, there is a possibility that the Blazers may choose to start their young core consisting of Scoot Henderson, Anfernee Simons, and Shaedon Sharpe, which would result in Thybulle coming off the bench. The final decision will depend on the Blazers’ roster moves and their resolution of the Lillard trade situation.
Matisse Thybulle’s new contract is a recognition of his exceptional defensive skills showcased throughout his first four years in the league. Although he is well-known for his defensive skills, his offensive abilities—specifically his reliability as a three-point shooter and ball handling—have not been as strong. This may have impacted his market value compared to players like Grant Williams.
However, joining the Portland Trail Blazers could provide Thybulle with the perfect opportunity to demonstrate his offensive capabilities and become a viable offensive player. In Portland, he may have a better environment to develop his offensive skills compared to Dallas. The Blazers, especially if they trade Damian Lillard, will likely prioritize player development over immediate results. This scenario could allow Thybulle to focus on honing his offensive game and becoming a two-way wing player that every team desires.
The Blazers’ emphasis on player development aligns well with Thybulle’s potential to grow into a more well-rounded player. Thybulle is expected to have developed into a valued asset by the time the Blazers are back in the postseason hunt, contributing on both ends of the court and establishing himself as a significant two-way wing player.
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