After playing a surprisingly large role in an NBA championship at the age of 35, many assumed Cleveland Cavaliers veteran wingman Richard Jefferson would take the opportunity to end his career on a high note, and retire this summer. He even said as much during the wine and gold’s celebration in the post-Game 7 locker room. But the 15-year veteran seems to have spoken a bit too soon.
As Chris Mannix of Yahoo Sports reports, Jefferson is interested in more glory, and probably in the money available in the league’s rapidly rising salary cap:
Jefferson had already hinted that he wasn’t done at the Cavaliers’ championship parade in downtown Cleveland, asking a crowd of Cavs fans if he should come back next year:
Despite being older than your average rotation player, Jefferson has proved his value in the changing NBA, as he slotted into uptempo, small-ball style sets with ease in the Finals and was a part of many of the Cavaliers’ most effective lineups against the Golden State Warriors. Potential pursuers — if the Cavaliers themselves don’t bring him back, that is — may be worried about the state of his body. Since the Finals ended, Jefferson’s 36th birthday has occurred.
Ultimately, though, Jefferson will probably be able to ink a large payday if he wants to go to the highest bidder instead of coming back to Cleveland at whatever price works for his team. That championship glow goes a long way.