Sometime in the next 10-12 days, the Cleveland Cavaliers have to make a hard choice. Because the team has 16 guaranteed contracts on the roster as the result of signing Dwyane Wade, so one player has to go.
One player potentially on the chopping block is Richard Jefferson, who has just one year left on his contract and did not play until the second half of Wednesday’s scrimmage vs. the Hawks. According to cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon, the Cavs have already talked to Jefferson’s agent about the possibility of Jefferson being cut. He also reports that no final decision has been made.
This news shouldn’t come as surprise, as teams and agents talk all the time. It’s also unclear exactly what the two sides talked about in any detail. It doesn’t seem as if the Cavs gave Jefferson’s agent, Jeff Schwartz, an indication one way or the other.
Jefferson is set to make $2.5 million this season, which is far less than some of the other Cavaliers (Channing Frye at $7.3 million, Iman Shumpert at around $10 million) who the team could move on from. If Jefferson is cut, it would still cost the team around $10 million in luxury tax payments. Jose Calderon, who signed with the Cavs this summer on a minimum contract, is another possibility.
When asked about his roster spot on Wednesday, Jefferson said “you go into every year assuming that whatever the coach needs, that's what you have to be ready to do.”