Richard Jefferson wants his final years in the NBA with a shot at a title as he joins LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers. The veteran forward officially signed with the Ohio team, the team confirmed on Wednesday.
The team’s official Twitter account announced the signing and welcomed Jefferson to the “Wine and Gold” squad.
— Cleveland Cavaliers (@cavs) August 5, 2015
The team did not officially disclose the terms of the deal, but Chris Haynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reported that Jefferson will be earning the veteran’s minimum in the one-year deal, valued at about $1.5 million.
Jefferson actually had verbally committed to signing in Dallas, but both sides revisited the talks and the team allowed him to sign with another team.
“Yesterday, he called me and said he had an opportunity with the Cavs, a team that is obviously well-positioned in the Eastern Conference. He asked if I would consider letting him out of his commitment to the Mavs so he could take the offer. He told me that if I wouldn't, he would honor his word,” Mark Cuban said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News.
“We discussed what his minutes situation would be with us. His health, his career and how much longer he wanted to play. It was an in-depth, open conversation. In the end, I thought it was fair to R.J. and in the best interests of the Mavs to agree to let him go the Cavs.”
Jefferson, who averaged 5.8 points and 2.5 rebounds in limited action for the Mavericks last season, will most likely play the backup small forward role to James in Cleveland.