Richard Jefferson

Free Agent Notes: Pasecniks, Jefferson, Teodosic, More

Shortly after having his draft rights renounced by the Sixers, 2017 first-round pick Anzejs Pasecniks has joined the Wizards‘ Summer League roster, tweets Michael Scotto of The Athletic.

Pasecniks, a 7’2″ center out of Latvia, has played professionally in Spain for the last few years, but is reportedly interested in making the move to the NBA this season. Since the 76ers didn’t want to carry his cap hold on their books, they made him an unrestricted free agent, giving him the ability to sign with another team. While it remains to be seen if the Wizards will be that team, it seems they’ll give him a look this month.

Here are more updates on a handful of NBA free agents:

  • Could we see Richard Jefferson back in the NBA in 2019/20? After retiring as a player last fall, Jefferson said on Tuesday night (via Twitter) that he wants to come out of retirement to play for one more year. If Jefferson is serious, we’ll see whether there will be an NBA team willing to add him to its roster. If not, he at least made his way into a Hoops Rumors free agent round-up one last time.
  • Veteran point guard Milos Teodosic, who spent a season and a half in the NBA before being waived by the Clippers in February, has reportedly received a two-year contract offer from Israeli team Maccabi Tel Aviv, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays. Teodosic is also said to be drawing interest from EuroLeague clubs Olympiacos and Anadolu Efes, as well as Italy’s Virtus Bologna.
  • Free agent guard Darrun Hilliard, who appeared in 91 NBA game from 2015-18 for Detroit and San Antonio, has signed with EuroLeague club CSKA Moscow, the team announced in a press release.
  • Shortly after last month’s draft, word broke that undrafted Boston College guard Ky Bowman will sign with the Warriors. According to Connor Letourneau of The San Francisco Chronicle, Bowman’s deal is expected to be a two-way contract.

And-Ones: Team USA, Jefferson, Jennings, Bass

With another round of World Cup qualifiers scheduled to begin next week, USA Basketball has officially announced its latest 12-man roster for games against Argentina (November 29) and Uruguay (December 2). The roster is made up primarily of G League players, though NBA free agents Tyler Zeller, Jarnell Stokes, and Eric Moreland are also on the squad. Other former NBA players on the roster include Chasson Randle, DeAndre Liggins, and John Jenkins.

With one more qualifying window scheduled for February after next week’s set of games, Team USA is in prime position to secure a spot in the 2019 World Cup. Team USA currently has a 7-1 record in qualifying contests, which puts the club in a tie with Argentina for first place in Group E. Puerto Rico and Uruguay are tied for third at 5-3. The top three teams in the group will earn spots in the World Cup, and the fourth-place team will have a chance to qualify as well.

Let’s round up a few more odds and ends from around the basketball world…

  • With some help from ESPN’s Dave McMenamin, longtime NBA forward Richard Jefferson published a piece on ESPN.com this week, sharing some of his memories from his NBA career and discussing his move into broadcasting.
  • After becoming a free agent this week, veteran guard Brandon Jennings may take the G League route as he tries to work his way back into the NBA, tweets Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports. However, Smith notes that nothing’s official yet.
  • Smith also checks in a pair of former NBA forward playing in China, reporting (via Twitter) that Brandon Bass is hoping to return to the NBA later in 2018/19, once the Chinese Basketball Association season ends. Jared Sullinger is also putting up huge numbers in China and is in good shape, according to Smith, who tweets that the former Celtic may be ready for another shot in the NBA.
  • Former Trail Blazers guard Tim Quarterman signed this week with Israeli team Ironi Naharyia, per his agency Prostep Sports (Twitter link). Quarterman was waived by the Rockets this past April.

And-Ones: Jefferson, Diaw, Magic, Blazers, Rockets

As expected, after announcing his retirement as a player over the weekend, Richard Jefferson has quickly secured a new job. The longtime NBA forward has officially joined the YES Network and will work as a Nets game and studio analyst this season, according to a press release.

Speaking of post-retirement jobs, Boris Diaw – who called it a career last month – has joined France’s national team as the program’s deputy general manager, as Emiliano Carchia of Sportando relays.

Here are a few more odds and ends from around the NBA:

  • A pair of longtime NBA owners – Richard DeVos of the Magic and Paul Allen of the Trail Blazers – have passed way in the last month and a half. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders explores what that means for the future of those two franchises.
  • Bobby Marks of ESPN.com passes along some interesting data on the NBA’s opening-night rosters, tweeting that the Nuggets, Knicks, and Trail Blazers have the youngest rosters, while the Rockets, Heat, and Mavericks are on the other end of the spectrum. Meanwhile, the NBA announces that the opening-night rosters feature a total of 108 international players from 42 different countries and territories.
  • The Rockets have agreed to a partnership with a new jersey sponsor, announcing today that the ROKiT Phones logo will appear in the top-left corner of their uniforms during the 2018/19 season. Twenty-seven NBA teams now have ad patches on their jerseys — Indiana, Oklahoma City, and Washington are the lone holdouts.

Richard Jefferson Announces Retirement

Richard Jefferson has retired after 17 NBA seasons and appears headed for a job in television, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times. Jefferson published a post on Instagram in which he announced his decision.

Jefferson, 38, played with eight teams during his 17-year NBA career after breaking in with the Nets in 2001. He reached the NBA Finals twice in New Jersey, then won a title in 2016 with the Cavaliers. After winning that championship two years ago, Jefferson announced during Cleveland’s locker room celebration that he was planning to retire, but changed his mind and returned for two more years.

In 1,181 career regular season games, Jefferson recorded averages of 12.6 PPG, 4.0 RPG, and 2.0 APG. His most productive seasons came with the Nets, including an impressive 2007/08 showing in which he put up 22.6 PPG, 4.2 RPG, and 3.1 APG with a .466/.362/.798 shooting line. The former University of Arizona standout also appeared in 140 total postseason contests.

Jefferson wrapped up his his NBA career with the Nuggets last season, but was barely used, appearing in just 20 games and averaging 8.2 minutes per night. The veteran forward wasn’t in training camp with anyone this fall and decided to move on to his next job.

Jefferson’s next job may see him heading back to New York to cover his old team, the Nets. A September report suggested that he was leaning toward joining the YES Network team for Nets broadcasts unless he received an NBA contract offer. According to a separate report, Jefferson – who co-hosts a podcast with Channing Frye – also received TV interest from ESPN and for Clippers game broadcasts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nets Notes: Pinson, Musa, RHJ, Jefferson, Crabbe

Theo Pinson currently has a standard NBA contract with the Nets, but it sounds like he’ll end up being the team’s second two-way player for the 2018/19 season, along with Alan Williams. As Michael Scotto of The Athletic relays (via Twitter), Nets GM Sean Marks said today that the rookie guard out of UNC “is going to be our (other) two-way guy.”

While Brooklyn’s plans could change between now and the start of the regular season, it wouldn’t be hard for the club to shift Pinson into one of its two-way slots — his contract includes an Exhibit 10 clause, which allows the Nets to convert his deal into a two-way pact before opening night.

Here’s more on the Nets:

  • Marks isn’t concerned about offseason injuries sustained by Dzanan Musa and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson, indicating today that both players should be cleared for training camp, per Brian Lewis of The New York Post (Twitter link).
  • Speaking of training camp, the Nets still have one opening on their 20-man roster for camp. According to Lewis (Twitter link), former Baylor standout Nuni Omot is one of multiple candidates for that spot.
  • After Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported last week that Richard Jefferson was drawing TV interest, NetsDaily hears from league sources that Jefferson seems likely to join the YES Network for Nets broadcasts unless he gets an NBA contract offer. Jefferson told Marchand that his goal is to “play basketball this season,” but if that doesn’t happen, Nets fans may see Jefferson on YES broadcasts doing game analysis and/or studio work.
  • Speaking to D.J. Sixsmith of CBS Local, Allen Crabbe referred to the Nets as a “match made in heaven” for him. Crabbe had to waive his trade kicker to accommodate a deal to Brooklyn last summer, and seemingly has no regrets about doing so.

Cavaliers Notes: James, Gilbert, Trade Market, Love

The root of the Cavaliers’ problems lies in an adversarial relationship between LeBron James and owner Dan Gilbert, writes Brian Windhorst of ESPN. James has grown frustrated while watching star players change teams over the last eight months, with none of them coming to Cleveland. Cavs management counters that it lost $18MM last season because it paid $25MM in luxury taxes and points out that its bargaining position would be much stronger if James would commit to the franchise beyond this season.

Gilbert went through a difficult rebuilding process when James left Cleveland for Miami in 2010 and doesn’t want to repeat that experience. The team could announce to the league that Brooklyn’s unprotected first-rounder is available if James agrees to re-sign, but he is committed to keeping his options open. Meanwhile, the relationship between James and Gilbert is getting worse, and it’s showing up in the Cavaliers’ performance on the court.

There’s more today out of Cleveland:

  • None of the players currently available on the trade market could turn things around in Cleveland, contends Jason Lloyd of The Athletic. Clippers center DeAndre Jordan would provide a much-needed defensive presence in the middle, but Lloyd doesn’t see him as a franchise player. Kings guard George Hill, whom the Cavaliers have also been linked to, would barely move the needle in the playoff race. Cleveland missed opportunities at major deals when Paul George, Jimmy Butler, Carmelo Anthony and others wound up elsewhere, and Lloyd believes it’s probably too late to save this season. After Saturday’s loss, James refused to comment on possible roster moves. “That’s not a question for me,” he said. “I show up to work every day. I bust my tail every day. I’m one of the first ones to get to the gym and I’m one of the last ones to leave. I do my part. I control what I can control and that is what I can control.”
  • The Cavs are suffering from a lack of locker-room leadership, Lloyd adds in the same story. In the past, that was provided by James Jones, Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye, but Jones retired, Jefferson was traded and Frye has lost influence as his playing time decreased.
  • Kevin Love plans to remain as active as possible while he’s sidelined for eight weeks with a broken bone in his left hand, relays Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com. “Obviously I can’t use my left arm as much as I would like to but I’ll still be able to do some ball handling on the court and be dominant with my right hand quite a bit, but keep my legs underneath me for when I do get back,” he said. “It will be very meaningful to get back as quickly as I can. … I’m not rushing it but when the doctors say I’m good to go I’ll be able to get out there.”

Nuggets Notes: Jefferson, Malone, Chandler

With the Clippers riding a six-game winning streak, the Nuggets currently find themselves on the outside of the Western Conference playoff picture. At 23-22, Denver is just a half-game back of the Clips and Pelicans, and one game back of the Trail Blazers, so it’s hardly time to panic yet. Still, as Buddy Grizzard of Basketball Insiders writes, the Nuggets are one of a few teams treading water in the West right now.

Grouping Denver with the Pelicans and Blazers as middle-of-the-pack Western playoff contenders, Grizzard notes that the Nuggets’ late-game execution has been inconsistent with Paul Millsap on the shelf. Richard Jefferson attributes those struggles to the club’s overall youth: “I think guys are still learning. Most of the guys that are in these positions are in these positions for the first time. I think we’ll continue getting better as the season goes on.”

Here’s more out of Denver:

  • Jefferson was brought in at the start of the season to provide veteran leadership for the Nuggets, but the veteran forward has taken on a role in the club’s rotation within the last week, as Gina Mizell of The Denver Post details. “People forget — and I have to remind myself, for that matter — R.J. last year in Cleveland, on a team that went to the Finals, was playing 20 minutes a night,” head coach Michael Malone said of Jefferson. “He still has something left, and I have to give him a chance to play.”
  • Speaking of Malone, he’s under pressure this season to prove that he’s a coach capable of guiding the Nuggets to a spot in the postseason, according to Mark Kiszla of The Denver Post.
  • After parting ways with Roc Nation last May, Nuggets forward Wilson Chandler has returned to his old agency, reports Sam Amick of USA Today (Twitter link). Chandler, who was being represented by Excel Sports for most of 2017, will be repped by Sam Permut with Roc Nation, says Amick. With a $12.8MM player option looming for 2018/19, Chandler will either be seeking a new team this summer or entering next season on an expiring contract.
  • Jamal Murray, who has been in the NBA’s concussion protocol this week, has been upgraded from doubtful to questionable for the team’s Friday game against Phoenix, per Mizell.

Northwest Notes: T. Jones, Mitchell, Jefferson, Huestis

Timberwolves point guard Tyus Jones played well when Jeff Teague was sidelined with a sprained knee ligament, but there’s no thought about making him the starter, relays Jerry Zgoda of The Star Tribune. Jones ranks in the top five in the league in assists and steals per turnover and is number one in defensive real plus-minus. Still, coach Tom Thibodeau trusts Teague, who was one of Minnesota’s prize offseason additions, and won’t consider a change.

“Jeff has been around a long time, and Jeff has done a lot of winning,” Thibodeau said. “That’s probably the most important thing.”

There’s more today from the Northwest Division:

  • Rookie guard Donovan Mitchell has become the MVP for the Jazz in a difficult season, according to Mike Sorensen of The Deseret News. The 13th overall pick is leading all rookies in scoring at 18.8 points per game and has four 30-point performances already. Utah was focused primarily on Mitchell’s defensive prowess when it acquired him in a draft-night trade with the Nuggets, so the scoring has been a pleasant surprise. In his other midseason ratings, Sorensen picks Ricky Rubio as the team’s most disappointing player and Royce O’Neale as the most pleasant surprise.
  • The Nuggets plan to use veteran forward Richard Jefferson as part of their rotation for the rest of the season, tweets Chris Dempsey of Altitude Sports. Coach Michael Malone said he wants to see “what we have” in the 37-year-old, who has been playing about eight minutes per night and is averaging 1.6 points through 13 games.
  • After spending most of his first two seasons in the G League, Josh Huestis may have found a role with the Thunder, writes Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman. Terrance Ferguson has taken over as the starting shooting guard with Andre Roberson injured, but coach Billy Donovan has turned to Huestis as a late-game defensive stopper. Huestis, who played just seven combined NBA games during his first two years in the league, is enjoying the opportunity. “It comes down to defense,” he said.

2018 Free Agent Stock Watch: Denver Nuggets

After years of being a beloved up-and-coming Western Conference hopeful, the Nuggets have lost some of their sheen due to circumstances somewhat out of their control. The franchise made its intentions clear by signing Paul Millsap to a contract north of $31MM this season, which only adds to the frustration caused by a relatively mediocre start.

The Nuggets had their hands full adding Millsap to the fold alongside 22-year-old Nikola Jokic, so we can’t exactly fault the club for getting out to a slow start, but – at just 16-15 – they have. When word broke that the 32-year-old free agent would miss months with a wrist injury, the outlook grew even more bleak.

All told, the Nuggets may not be quite as mysteriously captivating as they were in the past, but that doesn’t mean they can’t still be a solid team eventually given the still-very-much intriguing young pieces that dot the roster.

Darrell Arthur, PF, 30 (Down) – Signed to a three-year, $23MM deal in 2016
While Arthur has played nine seasons with just two NBA franchises, carving out a role as a consistently reliable rotation player on both despite never logging more than the 21.7 minutes per game, his pedestrian career marks of 6.6 points and 3.6 rebounds per game aren’t likely to yield much on the open market. For that reason, expect him to pick up his $7.5MM player option.

Will Barton, SG, 27 (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $10MM deal in 2015Will Barton of the Denver Nuggets vertical
In three and a half seasons with the Nuggets, Barton has made a name for himself as a solid spark plug off the bench. The soon-to-be 27-year-old unrestricted free agent will hit the open market in July and seems likely to command more from another suitor than the Nuggets would be comfortable matching given the other building blocks they’ll need to commit to.

Wilson Chandler, SF, 31 (Down) – Signed to a four-year, $47MM deal in 2015
Despite having a career year in 2016/17 and starting every game of the season for the Nuggets so far this year, Chandler isn’t a major part of Denver’s long-term plans. Given that we may see more penny pinching next summer than we did the last two because of a league-wide dearth of cap room, it’s hard to imagine the forward landing more than what he’ll be able to get just by accepting the $13MM player option he has for $2018/19.

Richard Jefferson, SF, 38 (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2MM deal in 2017
After landing with the Nuggets on a minimum deal following his release from the Cavaliers at the start of the season, Jefferson will hit free agency once again next summer. At the ripe age of 38, no longer privy to the luxuries of competing for a championship, don’t put it past the podcasting superstar to retire.

Nikola Jokic, C, 23 (Up) – Signed to a four-year, $6MM deal in 2015
The Nuggets have options for dealing with Jokic’s inevitable free agency. There’s no denying that the affable big man with a 24.1 career PER will command max money whenever he’s eligible to sign a new deal — whether that happens next summer or the one after that is the question. Denver holds a team option for Jokic’s 2018/19 campaign. While they could technically turn down his team option and look to lock him up as a restricted free agent in 2018, the Nuggets are already flirting with the luxury tax for next season without a monster Jokic deal on their books (or a possible Barton deal, for that matter). The front office could be better suited accepting the team option and then making a major play for the big man in 2019, once the contracts of Chandler, Arthur and Kenneth Faried expire. Still, there are optics to think about in that scenario. Regardless, Jokic has earned big money, so let’s pull up some chairs and watch how Tim Connelly and Arturas Karnisovas try to figure this out.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Nuggets Sign Richard Jefferson To One-Year Deal

OCTOBER 19: Jefferson’s deal with the Nuggets is now official, per RealGM’s log of NBA transactions. Denver waived Nelson on Wednesday to open up a roster spot for the veteran forward.

OCTOBER 16: Veteran forward Richard Jefferson has agreed to a one-year, $2.3MM contract with the Nuggets, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports.

Jefferson cleared waivers on Monday. He was traded by the Cavaliers to the Hawks on Saturday in a cost-cutting and roster-trimming move by Cleveland. Atlanta immediately waived him.

Denver will likely waive veteran point guard Jameer Nelson to make room for Jefferson, according to Wojnarowski.

Jefferson fortifies the small forward spot behind Wilson Chandler. His primary backup, Will Barton, suffered an ankle injury in practice on Monday.

It’s somewhat surprising that Denver would let Nelson go, as he was considered a potential starter during camp. The Nuggets have apparently decided to go with the much younger duo of Emmanuel Mudiay and Jamal Murray at point guard.

The Bucks were considered contenders for Jefferson’s services but wound up claiming another ex-Cavalier, DeAndre Liggins, on Monday. Jefferson, 37, averaged 5.7 PPG and 2.6 RPG in 79 regular-season contests last year.

Contractually, Jefferson will collect two paybacks. He’ll also receive $2MM from the Hawks, who will get a $500K set-off at the end of the season, Bobby Marks of ESPN tweets.