For the second time this month a player has pulled an about-face and left the Mavericks. This one, however, won’t change the direction of the franchise.
Unlike DeAndre Jordan’s dramatic disrespect at the dawn of free agency, Richard Jefferson’s altered course to Cleveland comes as no surprise. The veteran shooting guard committed to the Mavs, but changed his mind last week and will soon sign a one-year deal to play with the Cavaliers.
The Mavs, now in a scaled-back approach to the season without Jordan as their centerpiece, were prepared for Jefferson to leave and even signed free agent John Jenkins in advance of the possibility.
Jefferson leaves a team that will likely flirt with the Lottery to join a Cavaliers’ squad that should again compete for a championship.
“He called and talked to me,” owner Mark Cuban told ESPN. “RJ said he had an opportunity with an Eastern Conference team. He said he would honor what he originally agreed to with us, but thought the other was a better fit. I told him I was OK with it and understood.”
Jefferson attended a Jordan-signing celebration event along with Cuban and forward Chandler Parsons on July 3.
He was decent with the Mavs but, let's be honest, his inclusion on this year's roster wasn't going to change the ultimate direction. Nonetheless, his six points per game and athleticism are headed out of town.
It’s that kind of bummer summer for the Mavs.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.