Mavs sign Richard Jefferson to assume the role of Vince Carter

07/21/2014 12:09 PM

07/21/2014 11:57 PM

Richard Jefferson officially became a member of the Dallas Mavericks on Monday when he signed a one-year deal for the veteran’s minimum of $1.4 million.

Jefferson’s signing gives the Mavericks 13 players with guaranteed contracts. The Mavericks have two slots remaining — the $2.73 million mid-level exception and the veteran’s minimum exception — to add players.

The Mavericks are evaluating point guards Mo Williams, Jameer Nelson and Jordan Crawford for one of the spots. Donnie Nelson, the Mavericks’ president of basketball operations, described veteran Shawn Marion as a “long shot” to return to Dallas.

Nelson also said the Mavericks plan on saving one of the two remaining spots for later this summer.

A 6-foot-7, 234-pound small forward, Jefferson has career averages of 14.5 points and 4.5 rebounds in 32.1 minutes over 934 games in 13 seasons.

Jefferson played in all 82 games, including 78 starts, last season for the Utah Jazz. He averaged 10.1 points and 2.7 rebounds in 27 minutes, and shot 45 percent from the field and 41 percent from 3-point range.

The Mavericks acquired the 34-year old Jefferson to be a veteran leader off the bench, a role manned by Vince Carter the past three seasons. The 37-year old Carter signed a three-year, $12.2 million contract with Memphis earlier this month.

Jefferson has played for the New Jersey Nets, Milwaukee Bucks, San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors in addition to the Jazz. He also was a teammate of Jason Kidd with the Nets from 2001-08, and was a starter on New Jersey’s2002 and 2003 NBA Finals teams.

Jefferson was the 13th overall pick in the 2001 draft after a Pac-10 Hall of Honor career at Arizona.

Jefferson is among eight players who have become Mavericks this summer, joining Tyson Chandler, Chandler Parsons, Rashard Lewis, Raymond Felton, Greg Smith, Eric Griffin and Emir Preldzic. Griffin and Preldzic do not have guaranteed contracts.

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