Richard Jefferson has certainly had an odd go of it with the Spurs. When he was traded to San Antonio by Milwaukee last summer, it was thought to be one of the off-season’s greatest moves, and combined with the Spurs’ other acquisitions, was supposed to thrust San Antonio back into contention. It didn’t quite work out that way. Jefferson was a flub in his first season as a Spur; he was unable to hit the corner three consistently, didn’t really create offense on the drive, and wasn’t even a plus defender.
So naturally, he opted out of his $15.2 million salary for next season…because he was so likely to earn that back by signing a new deal. Player value this summer definitely seems to be inflated, but even with those standards in mind it’s tough to say if Jefferson would even be worth the full mid-level.
Well, Spurs fans, after enduring a year of Jefferson’s misfitting skills, are likely about to find out what he’s worth. According to Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express-News, the odds of RJ coming back to play for the Spurs next season are at 95%. It seemed that Jefferson’s opt-out was motivated by an intent to sign a long-term deal before the inevitable lockout/new CBA, but it’s unknown how long or valuable a new deal with the Spurs would be. He’d likely need a three year deal for something close to the mid-level to equal the $15.2 million he left behind, but at this stage is Jefferson really worth that much of an investment?