Richard Jefferson Traded to San Antonio for Three Veterans

Taylor SmithAnalyst IJune 23, 2009

DENVER - NOVEMBER 18:  Richard Jefferson #24 of the Milwaukee Bucks controls the ball against the Denver Nuggets at the Pepsi Center on November 18, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets defeated the Bucks 114-105.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

For the second consecutive year, Richard Jefferson finds himself moving during the week of the NBA Draft.

Last summer, the Nets packaged their prized small forward and sent him to Milwaukee in exchange for Yi Jianlian and Bobby Simmons on draft day.

Today, just two days prior to the '09 Draft, Jefferson is once again on the move, this time to the San Antonio Spurs.

In exchange for Jefferson, the Bucks acquired Bruce Bowen, Kurt Thomas, and Fabricio Oberto.

The addition of Jefferson to the Spurs' lineup is potentially huge. The 29-year-old Jefferson averaged just under 20 points per game last season and gives San Antonio a relatively young scorer to run with Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, and Manu Ginobili.

Jefferson also gives the Spurs an insurance policy should one of those players struggle to stay on the floor. Ginobili missed the end of last season with a foot injury.

Jefferson gives San Antonio a versatile scorer, a career 47 percent shooter from the field.

The move could also mean that Ginobili is his way out of town, although that seems unlikely at this point. Earlier in the offseason, several rumors began to spread involving Ginobili being dealt elsewhere.

For the Bucks, this trade clears cap space, freeing them up for more money next offseason (with the many prizes of 2010), as well as this summer.

They now can possibly re-sign either Ramon Sessions and/or Charlie Villanueva.

The departure of Jefferson also leaves the door open for 2008 first round pick Joe Alexander to see more time on the floor. He spent much of his rookie season watching from the sidelines, buried behind Jefferson.

Obviously, the key to this trade is San Antonio's acquisition of Jefferson. He brings some youth to an aging roster, as well as the wing scoring they had lacked with Ginobili sidelined.

It will be very interesting to see if (and how) the Spurs continue to try to retool their roster after a disappointing first-round exit to Dallas in the '09 postseason.

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