Former Arizona standout Richard Jefferson may have played his last NBA game after a 17-year, 1,301-game career as a professional since leaving the Wildcats’ program in 2001.
Jefferson, who has earned more than $112 million in his career, was traded to Atlanta on Friday and the Hawks subsequently waived him.
The Cavs will miss Richard Jefferson's vet minutes and presence. Surprised GM LeBron sent him packing. Too much "Road Trippin"?
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) October 14, 2017
The Cavaliers agreed to a deal that sent Jefferson, Kay Felder, some money (reportedly $3 million) and two second-round draft picks to Atlanta to save $12.8 million in luxury tax for the draft rights of European players Dimitrios Agravanis and Sergey Gladyr.
Jefferson, 37, was set to earn $2.5 million this year. He averaged 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 79 games last season for Cleveland. He has scored 16,385 points in his career, averaging 12.6 points per game. He has also averaged 4.1 rebounds a game.
Former Arizona center Channing Frye, 34, remains with Cleveland and will play in his 12th NBA season.
Frye has known Jefferson since the time Jefferson gave him a tour of the Arizona campus when Lute Olson recruited him in 2000.
“Do I feel bad for him? Have you seen his house in L.A., in Manhattan Beach? He’s living good,” Frye told ESPN.com after learning of the trade. “He’s doing OK. He’s not dying. S—, he’s just not on this team. We have a really good team and this team has to do not what’s best for Channing’s best friend to be here or for Richard to be here, they have to do what’s best for Cleveland, and right now we got really freaking good players on this team. … He’s going to be my boy. Hopefully he’s not calling me too much if he’s bored. But, we’re good.
“He’s had a good career and if he goes somewhere else, someone is going to get a good player. … He’s going to go somewhere else and he’s going to help that team. He’s a pro, he’s a good dude and you got to get past his bad jokes, but it is what it is.”
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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.