Richard Jefferson to Cavaliers: Latest Contract Details, Analysis and Reaction

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJuly 21, 2015

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The Cleveland Cavaliers continue to stockpile depth this summer with the addition of veteran forward Richard Jefferson

ESPN.com's Marc Stein reported Jefferson's agreement with the Cavaliers:    

Chris Haynes of the Plain Dealer confirmed the agreement and reported that Jefferson will be making the veteran's minimum with the Cavaliers. 

According to RealGM.com, the minimum for a player who has more than 10 years of NBA experience is about $1.5 million. 

Stein also noted that Jefferson's addition gives the Cavaliers an insurance policy as they remain in negotiations with free agent J.R. Smith. 

This is a bit of deja vu for the Dallas Mavericks, though not at the same level as DeAndre Jordan. ESPN.com's Tim MacMahon reported on July 3 that Jefferson agreed to a one-year deal with the Mavs for the same money he's getting from Cleveland. 

However, because of the Jordan situation, the Mavericks opened the door for others to re-examine their status, as Jason Lloyd of the Akron Beacon Journal reported:

Maveircks owner Mark Cuban detailed a conversation he had with Jefferson about his decision, per Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News:

Yesterday, he called me and said he had an opportunity with the Cavs, a team that is obviously well-positioned in the Eastern Conference. He asked if I would consider letting him out of his commitment to the Mavs so he could take the offer. He told me that if I wouldn't, he would honor his word. We discussed what his minutes situation would be with us. His health, his career and how much longer he wanted to play. It was an in-depth, open conversation. In the end, I thought it was fair to RJ and in the best interests of the Mavs to agree to let him go the Cavs.

Jefferson spent last season in Dallas, averaging 5.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in 74 games. He wasn't a high-volume shooter in 2014-15 but hit 44.4 percent of his attempts, including 42.6 percent from three-point range. 

Given the uncertainty with Smith's status, the addition of Jefferson on a cheap short-term deal makes sense for the Cavaliers. No team better understands the value of quality depth than Cleveland after what happened during 2015 NBA Finals. 

The 35-year-old Jefferson isn't going to play a huge role for the Cavaliers, but he will bring another strong veteran presence who can occasionally make a big shot. That's well worth the contract he will be receiving. 

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