But sources told ESPN.com that Matthews, who visited Sacramento on Thursday for a sit-down with Kings officials, has the Dallas Mavericks at the top of his wish list of preferred destinations. Sources said Thursday night that it is increasingly likely Matthews winds up in Dallas.
The Mavericks, though, remain engaged with marquee free agents DeAndre Jordan and former Dallas-area high school star LaMarcus Aldridge and are likely to let the courtship of those players play out before focusing on Matthews.
Sources said the Kings have pitched the annual salary of $16 million -- $1 million higher per season than Matthews was originally seeking -- despite the fact that the 28-year-old suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in March and will join his next team without having been able to test his surgically repaired left foot in game conditions.
Known as a topflight perimeter defender and a prolific 3-point shooter, Matthews averaged 15.9 points per game last season. He made it known in league circles heading into free agency that $15 million per season would be his goal despite the fact he is only four months into his recovery.
ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon reported earlier this week that the Mavs are reluctant to meet Matthews' price considering the daunting history of players who have been felled by a torn Achilles tendon.
Sources told MacMahon that the Mavs would want to sign Matthews to a deal averaging in the $10-12 million range.
But the thinning market of shooting guards in free agency could create some leverage for Matthews. Chicago's Jimmy Butler, Milwaukee's Khris Middleton, San Antonio's Danny Green and Cleveland's Iman Shumpert all agreed to long-term deals with eight-figure annual salaries to stay with their current teams during the first day of free agency.
Mavericks small forward Chandler Parsons, who has been operating as the team's lead recruiter, has spent considerable time in Los Angeles in recent days with both Matthews and Jordan. MacMahon reported this week that the trio has had multiple conversations about the chance to play together in Dallas.
Mavs coach Rick Carlisle and team athletic trainer Casey Smith had a dinner meeting with Matthews in Los Angeles minutes after free agency officially opened Tuesday night.