Richard Jefferson Opted Out of his Deal

by July 01, 2010

Yes, this is an insane decision by RJ. But it may not be completely insane, so sayeth the Express-News: “Spurs fans who celebrated the news that Richard Jefferson opted out of the final year of his contract β€” and questioned his sanity for passing on the $15 million he is guaranteed to make next season β€” were as misguided as they assumed Jefferson to be. Unless it’s payday and you’re Peter Holt, there is no reason to feel good about the prospect of having Jefferson disappear from the Spurs roster, no matter how underwhelming his first season in silver and black may have been. The Spurs chairman won’t have to sign any more of those bloated paychecks with Jefferson’s name, but he is a basketball man at heart, so he knows this is true: From a basketball standpoint, losing Jefferson does not help his team. Should Jefferson sign with another team and leave the Spurs high and dry, the team’s payroll still will be at, or near, the league’s salary cap figure … Maybe what Jefferson really wants is a fresh start with the Spurs, one that won’t be burdened by the expectations that go with being paid more than every teammate not named Duncan. Maybe the Spurs will announce a new deal for Jefferson in another week that will pay him about $32 million over four seasons. Then Spurs fans, including Holt, can celebrate, loud and long.”