After the Milwaukee Bucks released Gerald Green on Saturday, they reportedly have interest in signing NBA veteran Richard Jefferson.
For basketball reasons, the fit makes sense considering Jefferson plays at a similar pace to the Bucks. According to NBAWowy.com, Cleveland had 96.5 possessions per 48 minutes with Jefferson on the court. Milwaukee averaged a nearly identical 96.7 possessions per 48 minutes last season.
Here is what league insider Adrian Wojnarowski said about a potential agreement (via ESPN):
“The Milwaukee Bucks have emerged as serious suitors in the pursuit of forward Richard Jefferson, league sources told ESPN.com. No agreement has been reached, but the Bucks and Jefferson, 37, have mutual interest in a possible deal once he clears waivers Monday, league sources said.”
Jefferson, who was traded from the Cavaliers to the Hawks and was then waived to become a free agent, has a longtime connection with Milwaukee coach Jason Kidd. Jefferson is from Arizona and lived there when Kidd was on the Suns.
Kidd later played for the New Jersey Nets from 2001 until 2008. Jefferson was drafted by the Nets in 2001 (right when Kidd was traded to the team) and was on the roster until 2008 as well.
As teammates, they competed for two NBA titles and also took home gold in the 2003 FIBA Americas Championships. He spoke about Kidd as a head coach on a recent podcast with Bill Simmons (via The Ringer):
“I’m not surprised he’s done a good job coaching. He’s very similar to LeBron. But LeBron is an extrovert … Kidd is more of a silent assassin. But both of them just saw the game so far ahead of everyone else.”
After his tenure with New Jersey, Jefferson signed with Milwaukee. He also played with point guard Matthew Delladova in Cleveland for one season.
If he signs with the team, Jefferson would join Jason Terry as league vets on an otherwise young roster. It would not be unprecedented for Kidd to coach a former teammate, considering in 2015 he worked with Kenyon Martin.