Mar 22, 2014; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz forward Richard Jefferson (24) dribbles around Orlando Magic forward Maurice Harkless (21) during the second half at EnergySolutions Arena. The Jazz won 89-88. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Jefferson: Capable Of Replacing Vince Carter?

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The Mavericks pursuit of free agent forward Chandler Parsons did not come without its price. Dallas put their own free agent, Vince Carter, in a precarious situation as their pursuit of Parsons put contract negotiations with Carter on the back burner.

The contract offer that Dallas extended to Parsons limited their flexibility when it came to retaining Carter, a valuable member of the Dallas bench for the last three seasons.

The most that the Mavericks could offer Vince Carter was the $2.7 million cap exception while the contract offer to Parsons was on the table. The Mavericks may have been hopeful that Carter would wait to see what unfolded with Parsons, but the Memphis Grizzlies swooped in and secured Carter’s services with a three-year contract for $12.2 million.

Easing the pain of losing Carter was the news that Chandler Parsons would be joining the Dallas Mavericks. Dallas took a risk in extending the offer to Parsons, and it could have cost them Vince Carter with nothing to show for it.

Carter will be missed in Dallas, he brought a scoring much-needed scoring punch off the bench and he was willing to do whatever Carlisle asked him to do in order to help the Mavericks succeed. Finding a replacement for Carter would be difficult given the Mavericks limited salary-cap flexibility.

 

Apr 16, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Utah Jazz forward Richard Jefferson (24) dribbles in double overtime against the Minnesota Timberwolves guard Ricky Rubio (9) at Target Center. The Utah Jazz win 136-130 in double overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

As Dallas began to piece their 2014-15 roster together, the news broke that the Mavericks had agreed to terms with forward Richard Jefferson. Jefferson (34), is a 13-year veteran with career averages of 14.5 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game.

Jefferson and Carter actually shared the court in New Jersey from 2004-05 to the 2007-08 season. Like Carter, Richard Jefferson was once an extremely athletic player who has changed his game to remain an effective player in the NBA.

While the Mavericks would have preferred to keep Carter, Jefferson actually had 2013-14 season in Utah that was very comparable to what Carter did in Dallas. Take a look at the two player’s stats from last season:

 

Player  Points  Rebounds  FG%  3P% Mins Played
Vince Carter  11.9     3.5   40.7 39.4 24.4
Richard Jefferson  10.1     2.7   45 40.9 27

 

Jefferson may not be the same player that Carter is, but he’s not as far off as many would think and he comes to Dallas bringing little risk. The Mavericks were able to sign him for the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million.

 

Dec 2, 2013; Salt Lake City, UT, USA; Utah Jazz small forward Richard Jefferson (24) is defended by Houston Rockets shooting guard James Harden (13) during the first quarter at EnergySolutions Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russ Isabella-USA TODAY Sports

Jefferson will be asked to come off the bench and stretch the court for the Mavericks second unit. With 13 years of experience in the NBA, Jefferson should be able to integrate himself into the Mavericks lineup in a short amount of time.

If Jefferson is able to duplicate the season he had last year in Utah, the Mavericks should be commended for finding a true bargain in free agency.

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