AP Source: Matthews signing nearly complete

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by ANNE M. PETERSON, AP Sports Writer

kgw.com

Posted on July 21, 2010 at 7:42 AM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 21 at 7:42 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The Trail Blazers have reached an agreement with restricted free agent Wesley Matthews, a deal that was solidified when the Utah Jazz did not match Portland's offer for the shooting guard.

A source close to the negotiations who did not want to be identified because the deal was not yet official told The Associated Press that Matthews was expected to formally sign either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Matthews averaged 9.4 points and 2.3 rebounds in 24.7 minutes for the Jazz last season as a rookie. He appeared in all 82 games last season and started in 48.

The signing was inevitable after the Jazz signed Raja Bell on Monday to a three-year deal worth a reported $10 million.

Matthews made Utah's roster in training camp as an undrafted free agent and was a starter before the end of his rookie season.

In the postseason, he averaged 13.2 points and 4.4 rebounds in 37.1 minutes per game. He started in all 10 of Utah's playoff games.

The deal for Matthews comes just a day after the Blazers appointed Rich Cho as their new general manager.

Cho, who replaces Kevin Pritchard, was an assistant GM with Seattle/Oklahoma City for the past nine seasons. He is highly regarded for his expertise with the salary cap and the collective bargaining agreement. He's also got scouting experience. Also on Tuesday, veteran and Portland fan favorite Juwan Howard signed a deal with the Miami Heat.

Howard, who will begin his 17th NBA season this fall, appeared in 73 games with the Blazers last season and averaged 6.0 points, making 27 starts. He filled a key role during the absence of centers Joel Przybilla and Greg Oden, who both had season-ending knee injuries.

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