Richard Jefferson, as it turns, out isn’t done with basketball yet.
According to Chris Mannix of The Vertical, Jefferson isn’t retiring and also wants to playing 2-3 more years in the NBA. After the Cavs won the title, Jefferson said immediately after in the locker room that he was retiring, but walked it back a bit at the Cavs’ championship parade.
Not only is Richard Jefferson not retiring, he's looking to play 2-3 more years, sources told @TheVertical. RJ coming off strong year in CLE— Chris Mannix (@ChrisMannixYS) June 28, 2016
Jefferson was huge for the Cavs in the NBA Finals and Cleveland would probably like to bring him back. There are, however, a few issues. He just turned 36 and wasn’t having a great season before coming up big in the playoffs. Additionally, the Cavs can only offer him the part or all of the mini mid-level exception (worth $3.477 million next season) or a veteran’s minimum contract. Coming off his play in the Finals, Jefferson could theoretically get a better offer on the open market with the salary cap rising. It’s also worth noting that right now, none of the information out there indicates one way or another if Jefferson wants to stay or go. He also took a discount last summer to come to the Cavs in the first place.
Additionally, the Cavs also have to figure out what to do with J.R. Smith, Matthew Dellavedova and Timofey Mozgov. The former two are especially important, as losing them could leave the Cavs thin on the wing. But both figure to be much more expensive than Jefferson and that could make the Cavs less likely to offer him more money.
Either way, the Cavs’ offseason just got a little bit more interesting.