Richard Jefferson will clear waivers Monday afternoon, so which teams are interested in signing him?
As NBA teams cut down their rosters ahead of the start of the season, some tough decisions are made. The Cleveland Cavaliers made one, sending Richard Jefferson and guard Kay Felder to the Atlanta Hawks in a trade for random draft rights over the weekend. The Hawks did the expected and waived the 37-year old immediately, and he can sign with another (contending?) team once he clears waivers Monday afternoon.
The Milwaukee Bucks were immediately mentioned as a team with interest in Jefferson. He played with Bucks coach Jason Kidd in New Jersey, so Milwaukee could be an ideal landing spot for him with a team that can use a veteran leader who has some playoff and championship pedigree.
But according to Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin of ESPN, the Denver Nuggets have entered the mix to sign Jefferson. The Nuggets already have 15 guaranteed contracts though, so they would have to make a roster move to make room for Jefferson.
ESPN’s sources say three or four teams are interested in Jefferson. We know two at this point, in the Bucks and Nuggets, but the Minnesota Timberwolves, Washington Wizards, Portland Trail Blazers and Miami Heat look like other potential fits right off the bat.
Jefferson has averaged less than six points per game in four of the last five seasons, and less than 10 points per game in five of the last six campaigns. So his value is far more as a leader and veteran influence off the floor than anything he does on the floor at this point. That narrows his market, and surely narrows the number of teams he has any real interest in signing with.
Jefferson wants to keep playing, and he’ll only require a veteran’s minimum deal to mostly sit on the bench for a new team.