According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, the Cavs have finalized a deal to send veteran forward Richard Jefferson - along with guard Kay Felder and two second-round picks - to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for the draft rights to an unnamed European prospect. The 2019 pick will be the lesser pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers that had been owed to the Cavaliers, and the 2020 pick is from the Portland Trail Blazers. Jefferson, 37, played two seasons in a reserve role with the Cavaliers, but served as a key contributor during the team's comeback from a 3-1 deficit in the 2016 Finals.
The Hawks own the draft rights to five players who are now in European leagues.
The on-court impact of Jefferson leaving the Cavaliers deserves its own discussion at some point, but at 37-years old, it's conceivable that the off-court impact Jefferson had on the team was a lot more important. According to ESPN.com's Bobby Marks, the deal will save the Cavaliers $12.8 million in luxury tax payments this year.
Jefferson was an important member of the 2016 championship team and the co-host of the popular Road Trippin' Podcast alongside Channing Frye.More news: Mesut Ozil lacks ruthless streak of true Arsenal greats, says Troy Deeney
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"It's a tough situation, and I haven't gotten everything figured out yet, but you know, these are the hard times of being a coach", Lue said.
Per Wojnarowski, the Hawks will release both Jefferson and Felder, although neither will be eligible to re-sign with Cleveland.
Jefferson played 79 games, starting in 13, and put up 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds per game for the Cavaliers. "My journey is different, but it's a business and I understand it".