Both ESPN's Marc Stein and Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski have reported that former Utah Jazz starter-for-life Richard Jefferson will sign a one year deal with the Dallas Mavericks. It is to be a minimum value contract, and because RJ has played in the NBA for over a decade, it is worth $1.448 million dollars. It's a little bit less than the $11.046 million he made last year. but hey, he's still in the league. [Full Breakdown of Utah Jazz free agency here!]
Free agent Richard Jefferson is finalizing a one-year agreement with Dallas, league source tells Yahoo Sports.— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 13, 2014
Yahoo Sources: Free agent Richard Jefferson agrees to one-year deal with the Dallas Mavericks. http://t.co/0c7DBAdupE— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 13, 2014
Dallas Mavericks are signing Richard Jefferson, ESPN has learned— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 13, 2014
Mavericks will get Jefferson on a one-year minimum deal. Bargain signing after Jefferson completed his last contract in Utah— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) July 13, 2014
This is an interesting move for the Mavericks, who have previous won a title and are looking to make one more big run. They lost Vince Carter to free agency, but gained Chandler Parsons. The team also still has Monta Ellis, Brandan Wright, and Jae Crowder. It does not appear that RJ is needed on this team if he's there to be part of their wing rotation. But he's a vet who makes threes. And when you are in the hunt for another championship, and you are coming in at the minimum, sometimes that's all that it takes.
Does this Make Sense:
This makes great sense for RJ, as no front office in their right mind who offer him more than the minimum. Yes, he started last year and played nearly 30 mpg -- on the worst team in the conference. He scored a bit, had a few dunks, and was a consummate professional. He just wasn't a starting level small forward anymore.
But what about for the Dallas Mavericks? I guess they need reliable depth for cheap as insurance. RJ has played a lot of minutes and he may not have much left. But it''s going to be hard to find a better value. Now value wasn't what the Jazz got for a guy with a below average everything except 3pt% at the price of $11+ million. Dallas is getting the same guy for $1 million.
It makes sense for both parties, but one more than the other.
But maybe it doesn't make sense?
One could argue that you could sign someone from the NBA DL who can shoot as well as RJ can, and defend as poorly as he can (at this stage of his career), and save money. Experience matters, but so does performance. I know this is a complete win for RJ who wants to stay in the league and prove he belongs. And it's no surprise to see him leave the Jazz, he said that he would mid-season last year. It is a surprise to see the Mavs bring in this guy after making a huge splash in free agency.
I guess if RJ doesn't cause a fuss (and he kinda did once), and he keeps it professional, he'll do fine in Big D. I still don't know if this is the dude Dallas needs to reload with as they plan on going back to the playoffs. Or, well, I guess I should stop expecting Rick Carlisle to coach like OC did.
I'm not crazy about this move, but more power to RJ. You were a good soldier here and made threes and got a few dunks. You played in all 82 games and started in 78 of them.
You, uh, had the best skin on the team.
You take care, ya here?
(Sorry, I'm like in some Western movie binge right now, and emotions are hard. And saloons must have a crazy insurance deductible.)