Richard Jefferson Backs Out Of Deal With The Dallas Mavericks & Will Sign With Cleveland Cavaliers

Veteran swingman Richard Jefferson was thought to be signing with the Dallas Mavericks but ESPN's Marc Stein reports he will now be joining the Cleveland Cavaliers on a one-year, veteran's minimum deal.

Jefferson had verbally committed to sign with the Dallas Mavericks after DeAndre Jordan had indicated to Mavs owner Mark Cuban he'd sign with Dallas. Mark Cuban had released a video clip via CyberDust with Richard Jefferson indicating his return just a couple hours after the DeAndre Jordan news broke on July 3rd.

Mark Cuban tells ESPN that the Mavs were not blindsided by Richard Jefferson's decision and that Jefferson called Cuban first before reversing his decision as a result of the DeAndre Jordan saga. Class act by both parties as both showed great professionalism in how this whole deal went down.

Richard Jefferson averaged 5.8 points in just 16.8 minutes per game last year with the Mavs and shot 42.6 percent from beyond the three-point arc.

The Jefferson signing is a little insurance for the Cleveland Cavaliers as they were looking for depth out on the perimeter. With J.R. Smith still a question mark to re-sign with the Cavs, they went ahead and added a veteran like Jefferson that can shoot and spread the floor coming off the bench. He still has some high-flying dunks left in him as evidenced by some highlight plays last season.

Richard Jefferson's absence gives more playing time to the likes of rookie Justin Anderson, who the Mavs selected with the 21st pick in last month's NBA Draft. Justin Anderson now looks like a lock to play 20-plus minutes from the start of the regular season to help fill the void left by Jefferson in the second unit.

If this NBA offseason has proven anything, it's that a verbal commitment is anything but a guarantee that a player will indeed sign with that respective team, but it looks safe to say Richard Jefferson will be a Cleveland Cavalier next season.

Initial report of Richard Jefferson signing with the Dallas Mavericks can be seen here: