What's Wesley Matthews worth to the Mavs?

Wesley Matthews would perfectly fit the mold the Dallas Mavericks have in mind for a shooting guard as they move on from Monta Ellis.

If he’s healthy -- and that’s a pretty big if, considering his left Achilles tendon popped less than four months ago while playing against the Mavs.

Matthews has been the epitome of a 3-and-D threat, a 6-foot-5, 220-pound smart and savvy stopper who ranks among the NBA’s most prolific perimeter shooters. He’s a floor spacer who has some ability to create offensively and a guy who can give any wing a hard time on the other end of the floor. He’s also a terrific teammate. He’s pretty much the anti-Monta.

A healthy Matthews would without question be the Mavs’ top target at shooting guard this summer. A rehabbing Matthews still might be.

His injury, which torpedoed the Portland Trail Blazers’ chances of contending, muddies the waters as Matthews enters free agency. But two things are clear: (1) The Mavs are still very much interested, with ESPN.com’s Marc Stein reporting that the Toronto Raptors also plan to pursue him; (2) Matthews has no intention of being anyone’s injury discount.

Matthews’ reported requests for a multiyear contract with average salaries in the $15 million range are real, sources said. Matthews’ asking price is higher than that of Danny Green, another high-character shooter/stopper who doesn’t have as versatile of an offensive game but does have a clean bill of health.

Matthews’ camp has made it clear that he expects to be ready by the start of the regular season, meaning he also expects to be paid full-market value. An Instagram video of Matthews rehabbing seems to support his camp’s contention that he’s made remarkable progress with four months to go before the season opener.

If the 28-year-old Matthews regains his previous form, a premier defender who scores 16 points per game playing primarily off the ball, he’d be worth every penny of the $15 million per year. But paying that much for a player coming off such a serious injury would be a tough pill to swallow, especially if Green is available for $10-12 million per year, as projected.

The Mavs could make room under the salary cap to pay Matthews even if big man DeAndre Jordan, who hung out with Matthews and Mavs small forward Chandler Parsons in Los Angeles last week, accepts their offer of a max contract. It’d require parting ways with Raymond Felton, either via a salary-dump trade or by waiving him with the stretch provision, but it wouldn’t be difficult.

It’d just significantly reduce the means the Mavs have of filling out their bench. It could basically be the difference in the Mavs’ attempts to keep promising young forward Al-Farouq Aminu in Dallas.

(There wouldn’t be room for Matthews if the Mavs sign LaMarcus Aldridge because of the need to pair him with a center, but bringing Aldridge home is considered a long shot.

Price matters to the Mavs. How much are they willing to pay for Matthews? What will the market bear for him?

Those aren’t the first questions the Mavs have to answer in free agency, but they’re pretty high on the list.