Richard Jefferson Was Smart to Opt Out

by July 22, 2010

Remember when everyone laughed at RJ for opting out of a deal that would’ve netted him $15 mil next season? Yeah, about that  … has the scoop: “Sources tells TNT’s David Aldridge that forward Richard Jefferson’s new contract with the San Antonio Spurs, officially announced on Wednesday, is for four years and $38.8 million, with a player option for the final season at a little more than $11 million. Jefferson had opted out of the final year of his contract with the Spurs, which would have paid him $15 million next season, in order to test free agency. But most league officials believed the 30-year-old Jefferson would re-sign with the Spurs, who acquired him from Milwaukee last summer in a deal with the Bucks for Bruce Bowen and Kurt Thomas. Jefferson struggled for much of last season with the Spurs as he learned Gregg Popovich’s system, averaging just 12.3 points, his lowest average since his rookie season. But veteran players usually take at least a year or two to fully pick up the Spurs’ complex offensive and defensive systems, and tend to improve greatly in their second or third season. The Spurs anticipate that Jefferson, a career 47 percent shooter, will return to his normal form next season.”