Mathews, who has been on a two-way contract with Washington for each of the past two seasons, emerged as a regular rotation player for the team in 2020/21, averaging 5.5 PPG in 64 games (16.2 MPG). The 24-year-old shooting guard has displayed a reliable outside shot since entering the NBA, making 38.9% of 244 total three-point attempts.
The Wizards issued Mathews a qualifying offer last week to make him a restricted free agent. That QO was a partially guaranteed one-year minimum-salary offer and gave Washington matching rights in the event that Mathews signed an offer sheet with another team.
However, as Katz explains, the Wizards’ roster is almost full as a result of the complex five-team trade that will send six players to D.C. — by my count, 14 of the 15 slots on Washington’s regular season roster are spoken for. The club is also close to the tax line, Katz notes, and may want to retain some flexibility with that 15th roster spot.
Mathews will now be free to sign outright with any other team.