Richard Jefferson has reconsidered his post-Finals retirement declaration, tweets Chris Mannix of The Vertical. According to Mannix, not only is Jefferson not retiring, but he’s now planning to play for two or three more seasons.
Jefferson’s retirement “announcement” came just minutes after Cleveland’s Game 7 win over Golden State, when he told reporters that his career was done, adding that it was a “hell of a way to go out.” A few days later, the veteran forward admitted that his decision to retire was hardly set in stone, adding that his Cavaliers teammates were trying to talk him out of it, and that it was “still up for debate.”
A Finals win with the Cavs would indeed have been a storybook ending for Jefferson, who turned 36 last Tuesday and hadn’t previously won a championship over the course of his 15-year NBA career. Still, he played a crucial role in Cleveland’s victory, playing key minutes in the postseason, including in the Finals. Coming off a season in which he appeared in 95 total regular-season and playoff games, Jefferson – a pending free agent – still looks to have something left in the tank.
While he inked a minimum-salary contract with the Cavaliers last year, Jefferson could very well receive larger offers this time around, with the salary cap set to increase by nearly $25MM per team. Of course, if his number one goal is to win a second title, he could also be happy settling for another minimum-salary deal for a contender. Either way, it appears Jefferson won’t be calling it a career quite yet after all.