Richard Jefferson Announces Return to Cleveland Cavaliers for 2017-18 Season

Chauncey at Week 2 of the Big3 League

After saying he would stop playing after the Cavaliers won the National Basketball Association title in 2016 and changing his mind, Jefferson said Wednesday (Thursday Manila time) that he will be back with Cleveland next season-his 17th as a pro.

"I will be starting my 17th season next year; I am not retiring", Jefferson said on the podcast hosted on LeBron James' "Uninterrupted" multimedia platform.

Jefferson played in 79 games while serving as James' primary backup. He has one guaranteed year remaining on his contract at $2.5 million.

One thing is certain, Gilbert and the Cavs' front office need to do everything they can to convince James they are his best shot at contending for a title for the foreseeable future, or they'll watch him leave again, and this time he likely won't come back.

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Last season, Jefferson was still a big part of what Cleveland did. An unrestricted free agent, Jones earned the minimum $1.55 million last season. It means that like LeBron, Jones has gone to seven straight Finals.

"I told J.J.as long as I'm playing, he's going to be around", James said, according to a 2015 story from ESPN. Jones accounted for just 2.8 points per game, but his presence within the locker room has always been valued by the Cavaliers - most especially LeBron James.

Jefferson's return is the latest news in what has been an interesting offseason for the Cavs.

He played in 14 postseason games, contributing 3.9 points and 1.8 rebounds per contest. Cleveland, now being led by Koby Altman, has re-signed Kyle Korver and signed Jose Calderon this summer. Also, the team dangled All-Star forward Kevin Love in trade talks before the draft.

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