One of the Cleveland Cavaliers’ reserves will return next season, but another remains uncertain.
Forward Richard Jefferson, who previously was mulling retirement, announced Wednesday on his podcast that he is coming back. However, guard James Jones and the team are still determining his status, according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.
Jefferson, 37, said on his “Road Trippin'” podcast on the LeBron James-owned “Uninterrupted” social-media platform, “I will be starting my 17th season next year; I am not retiring.”
Jefferson’s 2017-18 contract is guaranteed for $2.5 million. Last season, his second with Cleveland, he appeared in 79 games, making 13 starts, and averaged 5.7 points, 2.6 rebounds and one assist.
He played in 14 postseason games, contributing 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds per contest.
Jefferson, a 2001 first-round pick by the Houston Rockets out of Arizona, has played for the New Jersey Nets, San Antonio Spurs, Golden State Warriors, Dallas Mavericks and Cleveland. He has career averages of 12.8 points, 4.1 rebounds and 2.1 assists in 1,161 games (808 starts).
Jones, 36, was a part of the Miami Heat’s championship teams with James before following the superstar to Cleveland for the 2014-15 season. In December 2015, James said of Jones, “He’s my favorite player of all time. … I told J.J., as long as I’m playing, he’s going to be around. He’s not allowed to stop playing basketball. So, I’m going to make sure I got a roster spot for him. I love him. He’s the greatest teammate I’ve ever had.”
Jones played in 48 games last season and started twice, averaging 2.8 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.3 assists.
Jones, a product of the University of Miami (Fla.), played for the Indiana Pacers, Phoenix Suns and Portland Trail Blazers prior to his time with the Heat and the Cavaliers. He and James are the only players to be on seven consecutive teams that reached the NBA Finals since six players did so for the Boston Celtics in the 1960s.