NBA Free Agency: Richard Jefferson Trolls Los Angeles Lakers for Only Signing Veteran Players

Published 08/03/2021, 2:01 AM EDT
May 25, 2021; Phoenix, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward LeBron James (23) celebrates with teammates against the Phoenix Suns during the first half in game two of the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs at Phoenix Suns Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports


The Los Angeles Lakers have been making moves, both in and out in this off-season. They acquired Russell Westbrook from the Washington Wizards and sent Kyle Kuzma, Montrezl Harrell, and their 2021 pick to the Wizards. Moreover, they sent Alex Caruso to Chicago.

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Now, they are attracting attention for their recent signings of players like Dwight Howard and Trevor Ariza. The Lakers have 7 players who have guaranteed contracts, 4 of them are over 32 years old. In addition, they have 4 players over the age of 35. Notably, LeBron James, who will turn 37 in December.

Looking at this, LeBron’s former teammate, Richard Jefferson, took to Twitter to troll the Lakers for signing the older guys.

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Does Jefferson want a shot for the Lakers?

While clearly trolling, Jefferson sent out a tweet saying that he is ready to play for the Lakers. This was mainly a remark because the Lakers seem to be assembling old guys in their team.

Interestingly, as Dwight Howard turns 36, it means the Lakers will have 4 players 36 or older. This will turn out to be the most by any team since the 2016-17 Cleveland Cavaliers. i.e. A team where Richard Jefferson was one of the players who was over 36. Hence, he may be hinting at that as he wants a record to his name.

But, we can’t say that the Lakers have not seen success in signing the vets until now. In 2020, they signed players like Dwight Howard, Rajon Rondo, and Jared Dudley- names that are all past their primes. However, they won the championship. So, maybe old guys is the way to go for the purple and gold.

Jun 3, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis (3), forward LeBron James (23) and coach Frank Vogel react in the second half during game six in the first round of the 2021 NBA Playoffs against the Phoenix Suns at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Richard Jefferson’s NBA journey

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Richard had a long NBA career as he spent 16 years in the league. He is mainly known for being a role player for the Cleveland Cavaliers. However, that is only towards the end of his road.

The New Jersey Nets drafted a young Richard Jefferson with the 13th pick in the 2001 NBA draft. This is where Jefferson spent his peak years. In his best season, he averaged 22 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, and 1 steal. He would consistently average over 15 per game for the Nets.

Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) and Richard Jefferson (24) stand on the courts after James was fouled by Golden State Warriors’ Draymond Green (23) in the second quarter of their game at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, Jan. 16, 2017. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group) (Photo by MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images)

It was only in the latter stages of his career that he became a role player. His most memorable role was with the 2015 Cavs when LeBron James led them to a comeback from 3-1 down against a 73-9 Golden State Warriors. Jefferson retired in 2018, playing his last season with the Denver Nuggets.

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Anuj Talwalkar

292 articles

Anuj Talwalkar is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. He is a student studying at NM College in Mumbai, aspiring to pursue sports management to follow his love for sports. Anuj started following the NBA last year, and he loves to combine his passion for writing with his understanding of basketball.

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