Cavaliers Sign Richard Jefferson

AUGUST 5TH, 5:15pm: The signing is official, the team announced.

2:56pm: Stein’s full story includes Cuban’s response.

“He called and talked to me,” Cuban said. “RJ said he had an opportunity with an Eastern Conference team. He said he would honor what he [originally agreed to with the Mavs] but thought the other was a better fit. I told him I was OK with it and understood.”

2:43pm: Jefferson called Mavs owner Mark Cuban prior to choosing Cleveland over Dallas, so the Dallas organization was aware of this before it happened, as Cuban tells Marc Stein of (Twitter link).

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

JULY 21ST, 2:01pm: Richard Jefferson is breaking off his deal with the Mavericks to sign with the Cavaliers instead, reports Marc Stein of (Twitter link). Jefferson was to sign a one-year deal for the minimum with Dallas, as Marc J. Spears of Yahoo! Sports reported earlier this month. It’s the second time this summer that the Mavs have had a free agent commit to them and later back out, as DeAndre Jordan notoriously did earlier this month. Jefferson won’t see any more money with the Cavs than he would have if he’d stayed on his deal in Dallas, as the Cleveland pact is also for the minimum salary, reports Chris Haynes of the Northeast Ohio Media Group (Twitter link). The Cavs deal is for one year, a league source told Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal.

It appears Dallas was at least somewhat on board with Jefferson’s change of heart, as opposed to Jordan’s, as a source told Lloyd that the Mavs gave the free agents who committed to them the chance to back out in the wake of Jordan’s flip-flop (Twitter link). Wesley Matthews said earlier that Dallas afforded him the same luxury, but he instead recommitted for about $13MM more. The Mavs also bumped the value of J.J. Barea‘s deal significantly higher. It’s unclear if Dallas offered a better deal to Jefferson than the one he originally agreed to.

The minimum for Jefferson, a veteran of 14 NBA seasons, is worth $1,499,187, but, since the deal is only for one season, the Cavs only owe him $947,276, the equivalent of the two-year veteran’s minimum. That’s key, since Cleveland is poised to go deep into the tax. Still, the Jefferson deal will cost Cleveland about $3.6MM in tax penalties on top of his salary, as former Nets executive Bobby Marks points out on Twitter.

It’s the second consecutive summer in which the Cavs are signing a veteran forward who spent the previous season with Dallas. Cleveland did so last year with Shawn Marion, who retired after this past season.

Jefferson ends up with the same salary as he would have made in Dallas, but his switch is not without consequence. He’ll have to pay state income tax for Ohio, as he wouldn’t have had to do in Texas, and his Mavs deal would have given him the power to block trades afforded by rule to players who return to their teams on one-year contracts. Jefferson will also be eligible only for Non-Bird rights with the Cavs next summer, instead of the Early Bird rights the Mavs would have held with him.

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19 thoughts on “Cavaliers Sign Richard Jefferson

  1. Charlie Adams

    Yikes. Twice now the Mavs get rebuffed after a commitment. Obviously this one doesn’t hurt as bad, but still a strange ‘trend’ (if you can call it that after two occurrences).

  2. Yay the Mavs got another Andre coward I wonder if Jermey Evans will do the same

  3. Good move by him it was fun having him but the cavs are a better team. Ill root for him in Cleveland. ..meanwhile the Mavs have an open roster spot for younger talent.

    • Chuck Myron

      Yeah, interesting you cite younger talent, since Cuban noted that this will mean more minutes for first-round pick Justin Anderson.

      • Z.....

        I had just assumed that Anderson would be an important part of the rotation anyway, considering he is their best defender on the wing (besides Wesley Matthews).

  4. chuck

    so why do all the players keep backing out. is it owner, other players, coach, Gm. if I was Cuban I would like to know WTF is going on

    • Z.....

      When I first saw it, I had assumed it was the fact that DeAndre backed out after Richard Jefferson committed to Dallas. They 9ffered their guys the chance to back out, and now Mark Cuban reiterated that…clear cut to me

  5. guest

    He just wants a chance to win a championship. Near the end of his career, Dallas wasn’t going to be contender this year. Not a coward just a smart decision

  6. Z.....

    Hurts dallas, as he would have had a role on the wing for them…if he were to play, he would actually help the cavs there as well, but they wouldn’t play Shawn Marion or Mike miller for some reason last year, so it looks like he’ll be on the end of the bench filling Marion’s spot

    • Chuck Myron

      Yeah, it seems like he’s an insurance policy for Cleveland. But if you can win a championship, hey …

  7. KnicksCavsFan

    I like this deal. I had wanted Crawford from the Clips but Jefferson can fill the same spot. He could be a nice sub for James when he needs some rest and he still shoots at a above average rate from the 3pt line. I think he’s a better backup than James Jones (even though I heard he’s coming back too). He’s a little soft (IMO) on defense but can still help on offense and spacing.

    Let’s hope Blatt doesn’t forget he’s on the roster/bench.

    • Z.....

      I’m too lazy to look up his numbers defensively, and I’m not remembering how he has been over the last couple of seasons, but Richard Jefferson was always a good defender. Calling him soft is a little ridiculous

      • Z.....

        Guess thats my bad. Its been a while since he was the defender that he was earlier in his career

    • Chuck Myron

      Jefferson’s and Delly’s are too divergent for this to affect Delly’s negotiations, I’d think. I believe this will have more to do with J.R. Smith.

      • J Hill

        I just meant in general. At first I was like, don’t worry about it, but now I’m kind of like ummmm WTF when are they gonna finish up Delly and Thompson.

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