We’ve written at length about Richard Jefferson‘s disappointing season this year. Hell, even Jerry Stackhouse decided to put him on blast. But any player who’s about to turn 30 – and having the worst year of his NBA career – would be crazy to leave $15 million on the table. And that’s exactly what RJ is thinking of doing.
“That’s a situation I think every player will look at at the end of the season,” said Jefferson, making $14.2 million this season and due to earn $15 million in next season’s final year of his deal if he doesn’t opt out. “I probably wouldn’t make 15 (million dollars) some place, but you could somehow recoup some of that over a multi-year deal and get some guaranteed money for the next few years.
“So you figure it out. If you’re able to get four years and 40 (million dollars by opting out) from someone, it’s like, ‘OK, I did lose out on 15 (million dollars). But I’m going to get basically a $25 million extension.’ Those are things that you think of at the end of the season.”
The only way Jefferson signs a four-year, $40 million offer this summer is if Isiah Thomas is back running an NBA team. As I wrote before, non-max guys like Jefferson can decide whether or not to opt-out, but their only incentive to terminate is to lock in a deal under the current CBA. Yao Ming is contemplating this same thing.
One thing that Jefferson does realize is that he’s not as valuable on the Spurs as he could be on other teams. When he was in a system like New Jersey or even Milwaukee, he was able to play to his strengths. In San Antonio, not so much.
“I’m not going to get $15 million in this system (San Antonio’s),” said Jefferson, acquired last summer by the Spurs after averaging 19.6 points for Milwaukee. “I’m not a $15 million player. In a Phoenix situation, in a place that’s more up and down and more fast-paced, my value and my stock probably rises. In a little bit slower-down offense, with the type of play that we have here, my value changes.”
What do you think? Should Jefferson opt out of his contract? If he does, what kind of deal should he get? What team would want him?
Other Must-Read Articles About The Spurs:
– NBA Rumor: Manu Ginobili Close To Signing A 3-Year, $40 Million Extension
– Jerry Stackhouse’s Smack Talk Has Inspired Richard Jefferson
– Free Beer With Every ‘Bat-Free’ Spurs Win
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