The Cleveland Cavaliers will trade Richard Jefferson and Kay Felder to the Atlanta Hawks, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski. It’s a purely salary cap saving maneuver for the Cavaliers, who are well over the salary cap and paying exponential luxury tax penalties.
The Hawks are expected to waive Jefferson and likely Felder, too. They also received cash from the Cavaliers, while the Hawks sent inconsequential rights to European players back to Cleveland. The Cavaliers are not able to re-sign Jefferson for a calendar year, meaning that the 37-year-old could decide to retire. Jefferson had already announced a retirement after winning the 2016 NBA Finals, although he ultimately went back on that to play another season.
With Dwyane Wade and Jae Crowder added to the team, there was no real role for Jefferson on the upcoming team. Instead, this move will save the Cavaliers millions.
Jefferson was set to make $2.5 million next season.