Bucks acquire Richard Jefferson from New Jersey for Bobby Simmons and Yi Jianlian
June 26, 2008
MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Bucks have acquired forward Richard Jefferson (6-7, 225) from the New Jersey Nets in exchange for forwards Bobby Simmons and Yi Jianlian, General Manager John Hammond announced today.
“Richard Jefferson is a hard-working, proven, dynamic performer at the forward position,” said Hammond. “He’s an aggressive player with terrific credentials over his career. He’s been a winner, having gone to the playoffs in six of his seven seasons, and we’re excited to bring him to Milwaukee.
“We certainly want to thank Bobby and Yi for their contributions to our organization,” said Hammond. “Although my time with them in Milwaukee was limited, I know both are talented players with many good years ahead of them in the NBA. We wish both of them well in New Jersey.”
Jefferson, 28, averaged a career-high 22.6 points (9th in the NBA) for New Jersey last season, marking the first time in his career that he finished in the top ten in scoring. He started all 82 games for the Nets and contributed 4.2 rebounds and 3.1 assists per contest. During the 2007-08 campaign, Jefferson set the Nets all-time record for free throws made (542, 6th in the NBA) and attempted (679, 7th in NBA). His 1,857 points were the fourth highest total for a Nets player in a single season, while his scoring average was the sixth highest single season average in New Jersey history.
A seven-year veteran, Jefferson was drafted by the Houston Rockets in the first round (13th overall) of the 2001 NBA Draft. Jefferson was acquired by New Jersey, along with the draft rights of Jason Collins and Brandon Armstrong, for Eddie Griffin on June 27, 2001. In 489 career regular season games with the Nets, he has averaged 17.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.1 assists. A six-time playoff performer with New Jersey, including consecutive trips to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003, Jefferson has averaged 15.1 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 78 post-season games.
Simmons (6-6, 230) spent three seasons in Milwaukee (did not play in the 2006-07 season due to injury) and averaged 10.6 points and 3.9 rebounds in 145 games in a Bucks uniform. He has played in six NBA seasons since being drafted out of DePaul in 2001 and owns career averages of 10.0 points and 4.1 rebounds. The 28-year old has also spent time with Washington and the Los Angeles Clippers.
Yi (7-0, 238) was drafted by the Bucks in the first round of last year’s NBA Draft (6th overall) and appeared in 66 games during his rookie campaign. He posted averages of 8.6 points, 5.2 rebounds and 0.85 blocks per game. He ranked 9th among rookie leaders in scoring and 5th in rebounding, and was named the Eastern Conference Rookie of the Month for December. A native of Shenzhen, China, the 20-year-old will compete in the Beijing Olympics this summer for the Chinese National Team.