NBA Free Agency: Richard Jefferson Opts Out, Byron Scott to Coach the Cavs, Drew Gooden to Milwaukee

Richard Jefferson made the biggest NBA free agency splash last night by opting out of the final year of his contract. Jefferson was set to make $15 million next year and his perplexing move was tabbed the most insane free agency decision since Bonzi Wells passed on a 5-year, $37 million offer from the Kings and wound up signing a 2-year, $4.5 million contract with the Rockets. (This was the biggest news in Jefferson’s career since he left his cheerleader fiancee at the altar – sort of – last year.)

Jefferson’s production fell off a cliff last year, and he couldn’t shoot straight. The winner is of course the Spurs, who will likely sign Jefferson to a longer, cheaper deal (the News-Express guesses the new deal could be $32 million over four years), and then have room to pursue a free agent.

Elsewhere …

* Byron Scott has signed a 3-year deal to be the next coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers. Despite reports that Brian Shaw had the job earlier this week, it seems as if the Cavaliers never made him an offer. Will Scott pull a Billy Donovan if LeBron signs elsewhere?

* The Milwaukee Bucks, who drafted two power forwards (Larry Sanders, Tiny Gallon) and a center (Jerome Jordan), just agreed to a  5-year, $32 million deal with Drew Gooden. Does this mean Gooden will take minutes from Ersan Ilyasova, who was good in the postseason? The Gooden deal seems to make no sense. Yes, the Bucks needed a wingman for Andrew Bogut up front, but did they really need to spend that much money on Drew Gooden? What was the market for Drew Gooden, a 29-year-old who isn’t likely to give you more than 14-9 during his deal? He’s played on six teams in the last three seasons and is essentially a garbage man who can give you 10-10ish on a good night. A three-year deal would have made much more sense.

[Express News; pic via Getty]

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