While the Milwaukee Bucks seem intent on signing Richard Jefferson when he clears waivers on Monday, the Denver Nuggets are also reportedly interested in the veteran.
As the Milwaukee Bucks explore their options for their vacant 15th roster spot, it seems as if they may have to deal with competition from around the league for the player who is now assumed to be their top target.
News of Bucks’ interest in former Cleveland Cavaliers forward Richard Jefferson was first reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin on Saturday night, and now that same duo have relayed news of another team set on seriously pursuing Jefferson.
According to the latest report from Wojnarowski and McMenamin, the Denver Nuggets will also be a serious contender to land Jefferson once he clears waivers at 5pm ET on Monday.
ESPN describe the Bucks as the team who are “most aggressive in its recruitment of him”, but highlights the Nuggets as one of “three or four teams” serious about signing him.
If Denver are to be successful in ultimately landing Jefferson, they’ll have work to do in making further moves. Unlike the Bucks who have an open spot, the Nuggets’ roster is currently full to capacity.
As noted by Wojnarowski and McMenamin:
“Denver has 15 guaranteed contracts and would have to make a roster move to clear an available spot for Jefferson. Nuggets president and governor Josh Kroenke enjoys a strong friendship with Jefferson, and Jefferson could be one more veteran contributor and influence to a Denver team trying to reach the Western Conference playoffs.”
Kroenke’s relationship with Jefferson could be an important element of the 37-year-old’s decision, and it wasn’t overstated in any way by the ESPN report. Jefferson and Kroenke are long-time friends, and the Nuggets president even made an appearance alongside Jefferson and Channing Frye on the Road Trippin’ Podcast.
Of course, part of Milwaukee’s appeal to Jefferson will also be built on existing relationships. The California native was a teammate of Bucks coach Jason Kidd‘s while they were both playing with the New Jersey Nets. Jefferson also played some of his college basketball with Bucks elder statesmen Jason Terry during their time together at Arizona.
The Nuggets are a team with a nice mix of young talent and experience, and should certainly be on the up this season, but it’s undeniable that the Bucks’ path in the East is a lot easier than the schedule Denver will have to navigate out West.
In all likelihood, we should know whether Jefferson is going to end up with the Bucks, Nuggets or another team within the next 24 to 48 hours or so.