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Richard Jefferson’s reported two-year agreement with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday means three former Arizona Wildcats who became free agents at the end of the season will continue to play next season.
Jerryd Bayless reportedly has agreed to a three-year, $27 million contract with the Philadaelphia 76ers. It has also been reported that Solomon Hill has come to terms with the New Orleans Pelicans on a four-year, $52 million deal.
Jefferson, 36, will enter his 16th NBA season in November, which will be the second-longest tenure of a former Arizona player at that level. Jason Terry, a free agent who wants to play at least two more seasons, leads all former Wildcats with 17 years in the NBA.
Jefferson’s return to Cleveland, instead of retiring, which was widely reported after the Cavs won the NBA title, means he will pass Steve Kerr’s 15 years in the league. Mike Bibby played 14 years in the NBA and Damon Stoudamire 13.
Andre Iguodala, who is signed through next season with the Golden State Warriors, will play in his 13th season. Channing Frye, also signed through next year with Cleveland, will be in his 12th year in the NBA.
With Bayless, Hill and Jefferson reportedly agreeing to new contracts, four former Arizona players who are NBA veterans remain hopeful a team signs them soon. They are Jordan Hill, Chase Budinger, Derrick Williams and Terry.
Three undrafted free agents from this year’s group of Wildcats — Gabe York, Kaleb Tarczkewski and Ryan Anderson — are also hopeful of landing a roster spot as they play in the NBA Summer League.
Nick Johnson, still reportedly paid $1.8 million by Denver despite the Nuggets releasing him early last season, has played well with Orlando’s Summer League team. He led the Orlando Summer League with 7.3 assists per game.
Former Arizona teammate Brandon Ashley, playing with Dallas’ summer-league team in Orlando, lead all rebounders with 11 a game.
Chasing Brandon Ashley this summer would serve the Pelicans long term interests. Young combo forward who can shoot.https://t.co/Xis5xyn4zv
2015-16 ARIZONA NBA PLAYER CONTRACTS
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Bird Rights — Named after Larry Bird, is a rule included in the NBA’s Collective Bargaining Agreement that allows teams to go over the salary cap to re-sign their own players. A player who qualifies for the Bird exception, formally referred to as a Qualifying Veteran Free Agent, is said to have “Bird rights.”
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.