With the addition of star Dwyane Wade, Cleveland Cavaliers fans have found themselves full of excitement and joy. With so much joy, they may not be thinking about the possibility of waiving their veteran fan favourite, Richard Jefferson.
For Cleveland, the situation is almost inevitable given the fact that their current roster holds 16 players, one player too many for an eligible roster. Jefferson seems like the logical choice for the Cavaliers since former second-round pick Kay Felder and Cedi Osman both have some form of guaranteed money left in their contracts.
Richard Jefferson on what he knows about rumors the Cavs will cut him from the final roster. pic.twitter.com/htk3gHYRnG
— Nikki Goel (@NikkiGoelCavs) October 4, 2017
Jefferson, 37, has played an important role for the Cavaliers in the last two seasons, both as a small-ball four and a defending wing. Last year, Jefferson averaged 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game in a Cleveland jersey. If Jefferson is dropped, who would take his place?
The role of Jefferson’s positions would likely be handed to fellow vet Jeff Green, who signed a one-year contract for a veteran’s minimum with the Cavs this summer. Green is six years younger than Jefferson and seems more physically adept to play this position, being that he has fresher legs and youth on his side. Even though Green’s play has at times been labeled as inconsistent, he seems like the obvious choice for the Cavs in this situation.
Richard Jefferson could be counting his days with the Cavs.https://t.co/jEecrTj788
— Cavs Nation (@CavsNationNet) October 3, 2017
Green may have the upper-hand on Jefferson because of his age and agility, but the relationships with teammates cannot be ignored. Breaking up the Cavaliers squad by removing Jefferson would not be a move well favoured in the locker room, as he is a team favorite and has a close relationship with LeBron James. The relationship has gone so far between the two that Jefferson even wrote a piece for The Player’s Tribune about playing with LeBron.
“I don’t care if you’re a LeBron “fan” or not, I have seen it: ‘Bron has something I’ve never seen. The way he says “follow me and I’ll take you there” with actions, more than words, is like no one else I’ve ever played with. He’s the kind of leader who makes you want to carry the weight too. I feel indebted to him. We all do.”
What the Cavaliers would certainly like to do with Jefferson is trade him, as it would save the organization money. Jefferson is on a 2.5 million dollar contract, but with the repeated luxury tax he may cost them 10.5 million, and with a trade all those costs are eliminated. The Cavs would likely have to throw in an incentive to complete a trade, most likely a second-round pick.
— Cavaliers Fans (@CavaliersViews) October 5, 2017
Whatever the case, it looks like the Cavaliers are parting with veteran Richard Jefferson.