Wesley Matthews: The Shooting Guard of the Future for the Trail Blazers?

Wesley HodgesContributor IIIJanuary 28, 2012

PORTLAND, OR - APRIL 23:  Wesley Matthews #2 of the Portland Trail Blazers lays up the ball against the Dallas Mavericks in Game Four of the Western Conference Quarterfinals in the 2011 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2011 at the Rose Garden in Portland, Oregon. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images

Not a lot is certain for the Portland Trail Blazers future.

A lot has been made recently about the contract talks with Nicolas Batum, as well as the uncertain futures of Gerald Wallace and Raymond Felton in Portland. Marcus Camby's contract is up after this season, and it's hard to say whether or not he'll keep playing.

Greg Oden could also be mentioned in the same breath, with yet another season for him now in serious jeopardy.

But what about Wesley Matthews? Obviously, with the contract he received at the beginning of last season, he is secure for the next little while. But, is he the answer at shooting guard of the future for the Portland Trail Blazers?

The results so far look promising. After being thrust into the role by the unexpected departure of Brandon Roy, Matthews has shown himself to be a capable two-way NBA player. His scoring is down this season, which is due to the fact that he's shooting a lower percentage overall. 

He's attempting more three pointers per game, and fewer free throws (as a result of fewer shots at the rim). He's probably just a missed three pointer here and there from being right where he was last season.

If that's the case, then are 16 points and 3.5 rebounds a game sufficient for what the Blazers will need from the starting shooting guard spot?

They look like a team that should be able to get a lot of production from several players, so it's possible that the answer is yes. LaMarcus Aldridge will get 22 points or so per game for the next few years, and with the talent the Blazers have on their roster, they shouldn't need Kobe Bryant-type production from the two guard spot.

As far as other options go, they probably wouldn't be able to get equal value in any kind of trade for what Matthews is giving them. Elliot Williams is a decent option, from what he has shown in limited minutes so far, but it's hard to say at this point if he is capable of producing in 35 minutes a night.

Matthews came into the league undrafted, so he know's not to take anything for granted. He plays hard every night, and even if he doesn't improve substantially in terms of his stats, he is likely to get better defensively as he continues to adjust to his role this season.

Given the shortened and strange nature of this regular season, I wouldn't put too much stock into a sudden drop or rise in stats, either. Wesley Matthews will continue to surprise, and while he may never grow into an elite player, he is definitely good enough to be the Blazer's starting shooting guard for years to come.