Richard Jefferson Announces Return to Cleveland Cavaliers for 2017-18 Season

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 5, 2017

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 1:  Richard Jefferson #24 of the Cleveland Cavaliers is seen before Game One of the Eastern Conference Semifinals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 1, 2017 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, Ohio. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by David Liam Kyle/NBAE via Getty Images)
David Liam Kyle/Getty Images

Richard Jefferson is headed back to the Cleveland Cavaliers for at least one more season.

Jefferson explained on his podcast Road Trippin' that he plans to suit up for the Wine and Gold again when the 2017-18 season gets underway in October, per Joe Vardon of Cleveland.com.

Although Jefferson toyed with the idea of retiring last summer, he re-signed with the Cavaliers on a three-year deal worth just a shade north of $7.6 million. And considering Jefferson is owed a guaranteed $2.5 million next season, it would have a surprise to see him walk away and leave money on the table. 

Now headed back to the defending Eastern Conference champions, Jefferson figures to maintain a grip on the supplementary role he's played each of the past two years. 

A 16-year veteran, Jefferson averaged 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 20.4 minutes a night last season—which actually represented a 2.5-minute-per-game bump from the year prior. 

Jefferson also made 13 starts on the wing with J.R. Smith banged up at several points during the regular season. 

However, it stands to reason the 2017-18 campaign could be Jefferson's last with the Cavaliers. 

Not only is the 37-year-old well into the twilight of his career, but his $2.6 million salary for the 2018-19 season is non-guaranteed. 

Assuming the Cavaliers want to carve out a small bit of cap space and retool their roster with some younger role players to surround LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love, letting Jefferson walk after one more year would make the most fiscal sense for a roster that could use some renovations at the back end of the bench.  


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