Valuable veteran Richard Jefferson has been traded from Cleveland to Atlanta and waived.
The Cavaliers and Hawks finalized their trade on Saturday with Jefferson and guard Kay Felder going to Atlanta with a pair of second-round draft picks and $3 million. Cleveland needed to clear two roster spots and will now save over $12 million in potential luxury-tax penalties.
The teams agreed to terms of the deal on Friday night and got league approval Saturday.
The Cavs, who had to get their roster to 15 before Tuesday’s opener, will also acquire the draft rights from Atlanta to forward Dimitrios Agravanis and guard Sergey Gladyr.
Jefferson spent two seasons with Cleveland and contributed to the club’s run to back-to-back NBA Finals, appearing in 35 postseason games. He’s now a free agent.
After overhauling their roster during a busy offseason, the three-time defending Eastern Conference champions ran out of room for the 37-year-old.
“R.J. embodies all of the things you could want in a veteran player and teammate,” Cavs general manager Koby Altman said. “His consistent success at a very high level over many years is a reflection of the kind of high quality player and person he is. His steady leadership, great attitude, dependability and performance helped us win an NBA Championship and we are grateful for all of his contributions on the court and within our locker room.”
As they prepare for Tuesday’s opener against Boston, the Cavs also released center Kendrick Perkins, who could join coach Tyronn Lue’s staff.
The Hawks chose the 6-foot-10 Agravanis in the second round in 2015. The 22-year-old He has played for Olympiacos in the Greek Basketball League since 2013.
The 6-foot-5 Gladyr was selected by Atlanta with the 49th overall pick in the 2009. He has played the past two seasons in France with AS Monaco Basket. Gladyr also played in the Summer League with the Hawks in 2010 and 2013.