Veteran Richard Jefferson returning to Cleveland Cavaliers

Tom Withers | The Associated Press

Jul 5, 2017 11:39 PM ET

CLEVELAND (AP)  Richard Jefferson isn't messing with any retirement talk this summer.

After saying he would stop playing after the Cavaliers won the NBA title in 2016 and changing his mind, Jefferson said Wednesday that he will be back with Cleveland next season - his 17th as a pro.

The 37-year-old announced his plans on an episode of his "Road Trippin"' podcast.

Jefferson, who had contemplated quitting, has one guaranteed season left on his contract worth $2.5 million. He averaged 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 79 games for the Cavs, serving mostly as a backup for LeBron James. He provided Cleveland with a big lift off the bench during the NBA Finals, when he was asked to guard Golden State's Kevin Durant and was perhaps the Cavs' most productive reserve.

Jefferson's return is the latest news in what has been an interesting offseason for the Cavs.

General manager David Griffin parted ways with the team after failing to resolve differences with owner Dan Gilbert. Also, the team dangled All-Star forward Kevin Love in trade talks before the draft.

In recent days, former All-Star guard Chauncey Billups removed himself from consideration to be the club's president of basketball operations.

Last week, the Cavs reached agreement on contracts with free agents Kyle Korver and Jose Calderon. Those deals will become official later this week when the league's moratorium ends.


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