Richard Jefferson and San Antonio Spurs: It was just a break
Most of the time, when there’s a sequel, it sucks. It’s usually a half-assed attempt to capitalize on a previous edition for cheap.
In hopefully-unrelated news, Richard Jefferson will re-sign the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday.
After a rough first season in the silver and black, in which flashes of what Spurs fans expected when the team acquired Jefferson were few and far between, JeffersonÂ surprisinglyÂ opted out of the final year of his contract. That final year would’ve paid Jefferson $15 million.
Defending his move, Jefferson said publicly that he was looking for long-term security as opposed to a quick payday.
Many frustrated Spurs fans were initially excited at the prospect of ridding themselves of Jefferson. But hours after the news of the swingman opting out, reports were already surfacing of Jefferson’s return to the Spurs, albeit at a more cap-friendly (and some would say, more deserving) price.
And though it took longer than people were expecting, RJ is indeed returning to the silver and black. Terms of the deal haven’t been disclosed, but should be released later this week. Either way, it shouldn’t be anywhere in the neighborhood of the salary that was left on the table.
This should comes as a relief to San Antonio Spurs owner Peter Holt who won’t have to pay the difference in salary or the luxury tax payments that would go along with Jefferson’s abandoned $15 million, which had San Antonio far and away over the salary cap.
Defenders of Jefferson’s have been beating the drum that players are more comfortable in their second season in Gregg Popovich’s system. And of all the things Jefferson was this past season, comfortable was not one of them. Luckily for Spurs fans, Jefferson has reportedly spend the summer in San Antonio working with Coach Pop on the finer points of the system, adapting his game to fit the team’s.
In the end, after the Spurs were able to at long last bring Tiago Splitter over from Spain, and after re-signing the sandwich hunter, there were few free agent small forwards left on the market that the Spurs could afford. And with the Spurs holding Jefferson’s bird rights, it was tough to find a better option for the Spurs than RJ.
Former Ticket 760 radio host Peter Burns might have summed it up best on Tuesday afternoon when he tweeted that, in effect, the San Antonio Spurs “refinanced” Jefferson.
Enjoy year two of Richard Jefferson and his shoulder tattoo.