With 16 guaranteed contracts on their roster, someone on the Cleveland Cavaliers is going to be left out in the cold before the 2017-18 NBA regular season officially gets underway.
That player could be 37-year-old veteran Richard Jefferson, with the Cavaliers having reportedly discussed the possibility of him not making the team with his agent, according to Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon.
"It's a tough process if you can move guys or if you have to let one go," head coach Tyronn Lue said Wednesday evening. "It's going to be a tough decision. Just trying to see who plays the best for us, who stays healthy and we've got to go from there."
Waiving Jefferson outright would be expensive, because while he's only making $2.5 million this season, the fact that Cleveland is already more than $18.6 million over the tax threshold means it would incur a heavy penalty for cutting someone on a guaranteed deal.
It also wouldn't make sense for the Cavs to rid themselves of someone they just signed, like Dwyane Wade (the team's 16th guaranteed contract), Derrick Rose, Jeff Green, or Jose Calderon - all of whom are playing under the veteran's minimum.
Channing Frye could also be shown the door, but he's making $7.3 million on the final year of his deal, making more of a trade chip.
Jefferson actually contemplated retirement over the summer, yet ultimately decided to give it another go for his 17th year in the Association.
He averaged 5.7 points and 2.6 rebounds in 20.4 minutes per game coming off the bench last season, and even started two games in the 2016 Finals that Cleveland won by overcoming a 3-1 series deficit.