Richard Jefferson says he’ll return to Cavaliers rather than retire

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Richard Jefferson said he was undecided on retirement, but the Cavaliers forward has apparently made up his mind.

Jefferson on Road Trippin’ with R.J. & Channing, as transcribed by Marla Ridenour of the Akron Beacon Journal:

“I will be starting my 17th season next year, I am not retiring,” Jefferson said

Jefferson is locked up for $2.5 million next season. He remains a helpful contributor, ridiculously athletic for a 37-year-old. He’s the type of combo forward the Cavs need to match up with the Warriors.

Cleveland should be especially thrilled to be handed one spot of roster stability right now, even if Jefferson’s age presents the risk of a major drop-off at any time. Without a general manager, it’s unclear how the Cavaliers would’ve replaced Jefferson.

And good for Jefferson staying in good enough shape to continue his career. Players, even ones as dedicated as Jefferson, have only short windows to play in the NBA. Jefferson will almost certainly never draw a salary like this post-retirement, and playing with LeBron James opens doors – for championship contention and exposure, which contributed to the podcast on which Jefferson announced his decision.

Jefferson hastily announced his retirement after Cleveland’s 2016 title only to backtrack a few days later. It seems he thoughtfully considered all factors this time and reached a good decision for himself.